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Global Times

China, US agree to push for 'pragmatic' trade cooperation amid escalating tensions

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Jun 10, 2021 09:05 AM Updated: Jun 10, 2021 11:03 AM

Chinese and US trade officials held another round of "candid" trade talks on Thursday and agreed to promote "pragmatic" trade and investment cooperation, as tension between the world's two biggest economies continue to escalate following a series of recent aggressive moves by Washington.

China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo had a "candid and pragmatic" exchange of views on relevant issues of mutual concerns in the business sector, according to a statement on the website of China's Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) on Thursday.

Both sides agreed to promote pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment and properly handle differences, while maintaining work communication, the statement said.

This was the third discussion between top Chinese and US economic and trade officials since US President Joe Biden took office. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on June 2. Liu held a phone call with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on May 27.

A spokesperson for the MOFCOM told a press conference last week that China and the US have resumed "normal communication" in the economic and trade fields, and will work together to solve "specific problems" in a practical manner for producers and consumers.

The frequency of China-US trade talks signified that the US has realized the importance and necessity of having China-US economic trade ties on the right track following damages caused by the ongoing trade war, said Gao Lingyun, a trade expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

"Sound and stable China-US economic and trade ties will only benefit the US, instead of harm as the US had imagined," Gao told the Global Times on Thursday.

Despite the enhanced exchanges between Beijing and Washington, analysts cautioned that serious hurdles remain as the US continues to deploy toxic policies inherited from the former Trump administration, which are unlikely to be resolved in the immediate future due to the US' increasingly burning hostility toward China.

Even as trade talks resumed, the Biden administration has in recent days stepped up crackdowns on Chinese businesses, including blacklisting nearly 60 Chinese companies. Also, the US Senate on Tuesday passed a so-called innovation and competition act that grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and could result in sanctions against China.

The US is also pressuring its allies against China. Biden has arrived in the UK ahead of the G7 summit, the first official overseas trip since he took office, during which he will reportedly urge allies to increase pressure on China.

"Talking about China and trying to interfere with China's internal affairs are two different things," Gao said, noting that China should watch US actions, while keeping an open mind to talks.

Separately, the Biden administration revoked a failed Trump-era order to ban Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, replacing on Wednesday with an executive order mandating a broader review of apps controlled by "foreign adversaries" to determine whether they pose a security threat to the US.

However, the move is actually a continuation of Trump's hostility toward China to crack down on Chinese high-tech firms under the guise of national security, analysts said.

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