Wang Qishan urges deeper US cooperation after talks

American Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and China's Vice-President Wang Qishan at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, in Beijing yesterday.
American Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and China's Vice-President Wang Qishan at an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, in Beijing yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING • China's Vice-President Wang Qishan said cooperation is the best choice for Beijing and Washington, while reiterating that his nation would stay committed to its own path, a day after mid-level trade talks ended on a positive note.

"As China-US relations stand at a new starting line, they must stay committed to our original aspiration and focus on coordination, cooperation and stability," Mr Wang said at a reception in Beijing yesterday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China and the United States establishing diplomatic ties.

"We must adapt to the new reality, keep looking for and expanding our common interests, deepening and promoting practical cooperation," he added.

China and the US are trying to resolve an unprecedented trade stand-off, with mid-level talks this week in Beijing ending on an optimistic note - though few details have emerged.

Global stocks have rallied on fresh hope of a breakthrough in the negotiations. The next steps include a possible meeting between Mr Wang and US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum later this month.

Mr Wang - a long-time ally of President Xi Jinping - is leading China's team to the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland, and will deliver a keynote address there.

The talk with Mr Trump would take place on the sidelines of the meeting, the South China Morning Post reported.

The event yesterday was attended by members of the US diplomatic and business community in China, including US Ambassador Terry Branstad and head of the American Chamber of Commerce Tim Stratford.

Former US president Richard Nixon's grandson Christopher Nixon Cox and Chinese diplomat Fu Ying were also at the lunch reception.

NEW STAGE OF TIES

As China-US relations stand at a new starting line, they must stay committed to our original aspiration and focus on coordination, cooperation and stability. We must adapt to the new reality, keep looking for and expanding our common interests, deepening and promoting practical cooperation.

CHINA'S VICE-PRESIDENT WANG QISHAN

In November, Mr Wang did little to assuage fears that China and the US are headed for a confrontation that could disrupt the global order.

Beijing remained ready to dis-cuss solutions to the trade con-flict, he told Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in November. But he warned that China would not again be "bullied and oppressed by imperialist powers".

"Regardless of how the international landscape changes, China will unswervingly follow its own path, run its own affairs steadfastly and enable its people to have a better life," Mr Wang said yesterday.

 
 

China has made a number of concessions since Mr Xi and Mr Trump agreed to a 90-day truce in Argentina on Dec 1, including slashing import tariffs on more than 700 products.

Still, negotiations have been stuck over US demands for deep structural reforms, including stopping forced technology transfers, enforcing intellectual property rights and ending state subsidies for strategic industries.

The Trump administration is pushing for a way to make sure China delivers on its commitments in any trade deal. China said this week's meetings were "extensive, in-depth and detailed", and laid the foundation for a resolution of the conflict.

BLOOMBERG

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Wang Qishan urges deeper US cooperation after talks'. Print Edition | Subscribe