Reforms will tighten Sino-US links: Xi

Updated: 2013-11-18 11:24

By Chen Jia in Beijing, Chen Weihua in Washington, and Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily USA)

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 Reforms will tighten Sino-US links: Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Friday. Ma Zhancheng / Xinhua

China's deepening reform and opening-up will bring new opportunities for Sino-US economic cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday when meeting US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in Beijing.

The comprehensive reform blueprint will provide a strong driving force for China's development and will benefit the whole world, Xi said.

The blueprint was rolled out at the four-day meeting of the Third Plenum of the Communist Party of China's 18th Central Committee.

As the special representative of President Barack Obama, Lew is the first high-ranking US official to visit China after the Party's key meeting, which attracted global attention, ended on Tuesday.

"China will make greater efforts to push forward with reform and keep its economic development sustainable and healthy," Xi said.

Xi also said he hopes the US will improve structural adjustment and build a stable and sustainable financial system to ensure economic recovery and growth.

He suggested promoting negotiations on the Sino-US bilateral investment treaty, enhancing policy coordination and expanding common interests between the two countries.

Lew said after meeting Xi, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang, and other senior officials that the outcome of the Third Plenum is an "ambitious" agenda for market reforms.

"The direction is significant, but the character and the pace of change matters," he said.

Chinese companies are also accelerating their investment in the US. According to the Rhodium Group, Chinese investment in the US reached $12.2 billion in the first nine months of this year, "well on the way" to another record year.

However, Wang Chao, China's vice-minister of commerce, said Chinese investment in the US only accounted for less than 3 percent of China's total investment overseas, which is very inappropriate to the sizes of the two economies and the trade volume between them.

Theodore Moran, professor of international business and finance at Georgetown University, believes Chinese growing investment in the US should be one of the focuses of the talks between Lew and Chinese officials

"We think Chinese foreign investment in the United States is very underrepresented, that is to say, the likelihood over the next 10 years that we are going to see much more Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States. If you take the characteristics of the two economies, you will see there really isn't much Chinese investment, and we expect that to rise quite a lot," Moran said.

Duncan Innes-Ker, a senior analyst in China at the Economist Intelligence Unit, a think tank under the Economist magazine, said China is the main trading partner of most countries. Consequently, the way in which the Chinese leadership carries out the reform plan will have a far-reaching influence on the global trade environment, he said.

Douglas Paal, vice-president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said these are routine high-level meetings, sustaining the rhetorical pledges to keep working on Sino-US relations in general and on financial issues in particular."The Obama administration will use them to fortify the message that the rebalance to Asia continues in the political and economic spheres.I expect Susan Rice will say similar things next week in a speech on Asia policy at Georgetown University," he said.

Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at Peterson Institute, said Lew's visit to China could help American companies in China too.

He hopes the US and China can make progress in concluding a bilateral investment treaty to facilitate American investment in China too. Another area is that the US should persuade the Chinese side to adopt a liberal position on an information technology agreement to open wider access of the Chinese market to American technology companies.

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(China Daily USA 11/18/2013 page1)