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China-US ties stabilizing, may pave way for state heads’ meeting: experts

《环球时报》 2023-09-12

China US Photo:VCG

  The world's two largest economies may see a gradual improvement in trade and economic ties in the months to come, experts said, after high-level visits and more contacts build anticipation in business circles. Some observers expect a possible meeting between the countries' state leaders in the near future.

  These comments came after Zhang Shaogang, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), on Tuesday met with Myron Brilliant, senior advisor to US consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group and former executive vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

  The two had in-depth exchanges on promoting pragmatic cooperation between China and the US business community and US companies' participation in the first China International Supply Chain Expo in Beijing from November 28 to December 2, according to the CCPIT.

  Separately on Monday, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng met with Brilliant. The two exchanged views on the current international economic situation, China-US economic and trade cooperation and other topics, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

  Albright Stonebridge Group is a global strategic advisory firm based in Washington.

  He Weiwen, senior fellow of the Center for China and Globalization, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the meeting was intended to spread a message to Western institutional investors that China-US ties are stabilizing and China's investment environment remains good, even though some recent economic indicators fell short of expectations.

  The communications came amid reports that some Western investors are pulling out of the Chinese market.

  Norway's $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund is closing its only office in China, citing concerns about rising tensions between China and the US, though it will continue to invest in the country, a Reuters report said on Thursday.

  On the same day, New York-based BlackRock rejected media reports saying it is withdrawing from the Chinese market, adding that its commitment to the Chinese market remains unchanged, domestic media outlet Yicai reported. Previously, the biggest US asset manager said it would liquidate its China Flexible Equity Fund on November 7 due to a lack of new investor interest.

  The rumor arising from the BlackRock case shows purposefully ill-intended speculation on the Chinese economy and business climate, which is continuously improving as stimulus measures take effect, experts said, adding that the external environment, with China-US relations posing one of the biggest concerns, is also showing signs of stabilizing.

  After US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's China visit, it could be said that talks between the two sides have entered a substantive stage, He said.

  During in-depth talks in August, Raimondo and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao announced plans to establish a new trade communication channel, including a working group consisting of Chinese and US officials and business representatives to seek solutions on specific trade issues. The two sides also launched a communication mechanism to discuss issues concerning export controls.  

  The annual summit of APEC leaders will be held in San Francisco in November.

  From the perspective of interaction between China and the US, the economic and trade field is an area where both sides currently have more common interests, in comparison with the diplomatic and military fields where structural conflicts are greater and more difficult to resolve in the short term, Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies, Fudan University told the Global Times.

  Song warned that China-US ties could face mounting challenges as the US will enter its hysterical political cycle, with the presidential election year coming and campaigns are already heating up.

  The more China-US relations can achieve significant progress in 2023, the more they will be able to withstand possible severe impacts from domestic political factors in the US and other factors next year, Song said.