Vice-premier assures on US economic ties

Updated: 2014-12-18 13:13

By Chen Weihua in Chicago(China Daily USA)

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Vice-premier assures on US economic ties

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang has assured US officials and business communities that his country's policy for developing the China-US economic relationship will not change despite China's expanding economy.

He made the comment on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago at a conference called US-China: A Shared Vision of Economic Leadership. It was part of the 25th session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) being held in the Windy City on Dec 16-18.

"While the form and content of the China-US economic relationship might change, the mutual beneficial and win-win essence will not," Wang said.

Addressing some concerns over China's economic and trade policy, Wang said China will continue its opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

"Reform and opening-up is a decision key to China's destiny and we will never waver," he told several hundred participants mostly from the Chinese and US business communities.

The vice-premier pledged that China would implement a new round of high-level opening-up that abides by the rules of international trade, open wider and conduct more cooperation at the bilateral, multilateral, regional and sub-regional levels.

He said China will loosen its restrictions on market access, reform its system of customs and quarantine to form a high-level global free trade area network.

He also promised that China will continue its economic restructuring to achieve a more balanced, coordinated and sustainable economy.

Wang arrived in Chicago on Tuesday for the JCCT session, which has been reformed this year to include a full-day private sector engagement with officials from the two governments.

JCCT has been a high-level dialogue on bilateral investment and trade opportunities and challenges. It has more than a dozen working groups on specific issues, such as trade, investment, intellectual property rights, agriculture and product safety.

Wang said China will speed up in improving the legal system for a socialist market economy, create a business environment that is global and rule-based. He said China will work to unify the legal framework regarding domestic and foreign investment, improve transparency in law enforcement, deepen its legal reforms and push forward on intellectual property courts.

The differences in national situations, development stages, social systems and ideologies will not prevent China and the US from becoming mutually beneficial and win-win economic partners, Wang said.

He said the bilateral economic relationship has been characterized by cooperation, while differences account for a small fraction of the picture.

"We should not only put our problems under the microscope, but more importantly look at the future with a telescope," he said.

On Wednesday, Wang also attended a forum on agriculture and food cooperation with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He then participated in a business roundtable, an investment lunch program and a travel and tourism forum with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and the US Trade Representative.

Visiting Chicago for the first time, Wang told a luncheon on gateway cities investment that the two countries should make concerted efforts to continue to promote cooperation between their cities.

US governors and mayors have shown an increasing interest in developing trade and investment ties with China in recent years.

Representatives from the eight Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Wuhan, Qingdao, Shenyang and Hangzhou were at the conference to seek cooperation with Chicago.

Chicago has seen its trade with China grow by 16.3 percent each year for nearly a decade to $60 billion, accounting for a third of the foreign trade of the Chicago region and 10 percent of the China-US trade. Chicago has also been a main destination for the growing Chinese foreign direct investment in the US.

US Commerce Secretary Pritzker said the success of the US-China commercial relationship is critical to global economic growth and stability.

She said the JCCT will continue to serve as a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship and as a platform to hear from the business community.

Pritzker and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead a business development mission to China next April to focus on industries supporting smart cities and smart growth, a visit Pritzker described Wednesday as "super trade mission to China".

Pritzker praised the bilateral agreements reached during President Obama's trip to China last month on climate change and reciprocal visa extension.

At the tourism forum on Wednesday, Pritzker said she believes that with the new visa policy, 7.3 million Chinese visitors are expected to travel to the US by 2021 - contributing nearly $8.5 billion per year to the economy and supporting as many as 440,000 jobs.

US Trade Representative Froman said the shared vision on economic leadership for the two countries means first and foremost a shared vision based on the US-China relationship that is founded on mutual interest and mutual respect.

"Mutual interest is unlocking opportunities, expanding exports, creating a level playing field for our workers and our businesses, and lowering barriers to investment," he said.

He said mutual respect is having candid conversations about what the two sides agree and disagree on, and putting creative ideas on the table to bridge those differences.

"That's why JCCT is one of our best tools to strengthen this relationship," he said.