Location China China

US officials call in question a market-oriented economy in China. China expressed grave concerns

By Zhong Nan and Ren Xiaojin

China expressed grave concerns about the Office of the United States Trade Representative accusing China, in a trade policy document earlier this week, of adopting «hostile policies» in trade activities, according to the Ministry of Commerce and analysts in Beijing.

The ministry’s comments came after the USTR delivered the 2018 Trade Policy Agenda and 2017 Annual Report to the US Congress on Wednesday, criticizing China, Russia and other countries for adopting what it called «hostile policies» in trade activities, while ignoring China’s contributions to the global economy.

«The report disregards China’s concrete achievement in developing a market-oriented economy in past years and the fact that China strictly kept its WTO accession promises,» according to an official with the ministry’s Department of American and Oceanian Affairs.

The US document also said China «is not a market economy and does not have the right to engage in government interference and intervention in market mechanisms, distorting market outcomes and undermining the World Trade Organization rules».

The ministry said the report rashly criticized China’s economic model and related policies. China is seriously concerned about this situation, it added.

«China will not close the door to the world but will only create more spaces,» the official said in a statement. «Since its entry into the WTO, China has kept its promises on tariff cuts and market opening, stood against protectionism, improved protection of property rights, promoted fair competition and pushed forward economic globalization.»

China’s development has pushed the global economy, and its contribution to world economic growth exceeded 30 percent in 2017, government data show.

«As China is undergoing an industrial upgrading boom and supply-side structural reform, we cannot say that the bilateral trade structure right now is totally complementary. It is undeniable that the competition is getting increasingly fierce and will continue to be,» said Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China.

He said China may purchase fewer passenger aircraft, microchips and regular and electric vehicles from the US in the future, since it has sufficient technologies to manufacture these products.

«Even though certain industries will exert some pressure on the US companies in soft market competition, the complementary nature should reflect current Sino-US relations,» said Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing.

«If both China and the US built stronger ties to develop third-party markets such as the economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative, it would generate handsome economic returns and ease business tensions on both sides,» said Ruan.

To further deepen bilateral business ties, Liu He, director of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, held talks in the US on Thursday with White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.


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