Breakthrough expected in China-US economic co-op

Updated: 2013-07-09 14:02


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WASHINGTON - The upcoming China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Washington is expected to give a fresh look to the deals and disputes between the two countries, bringing about breakthrough in the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, an expert from a US think tank told Xinhua in the latest interview.

Familiar issues, new faces

Concerns about trade ties and investor relations will continue to be the key issues on the economic agenda of the dialogue, said Yukon Huang, a senior associate in the Asia Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The two-day high-level forum will be the first major platform for the two governments to discuss a series of major issues of common concern after the Sunnylands summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama.

In terms of trade, "China wants to make sure that the US continues to be a fairly open trade regime that doesn't resort to protectionist tariffs to deal with what they would see as concerns," said Huang.

He added that China has been under a number of investigations and WTO appeals including solar equipment, turbine engines and other product lines.

From the US side, they will continue to talk about whether or not Chinese exporters and producers have unfair advantages in terms of subsidies or interest rates.

On the investment front, "China will want to talk about the barriers they see in terms of overseas investment from China to the US that have political sensitivities as well as technological restrictions in terms of areas they can invest," said Huang.

The US Senate will hold a hearing on the proposed purchase of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, by China's Shuanghui International on Wednesday, the same day when the S&ED kicks off.

The proposed $4.7 billion deal, the biggest acquisition of a US company by a Chinese firm, has been taken as a real test of the US appetite for Chinese investment.

From the US side, there are concerns that American companies don't get fair treatment on an equal playing field when they go to China, Huang said.

"None of these issues are what I would call new, and they have been subject to discussion for many years," noted Huang. "I think the point to recognize is that there are essentially new players on both sides. Many of the key officials are new to the game."

The S&ED will be co-chaired by new leaders on both sides -- Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi for China, as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

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