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Vice-premier upbeat about China-US economic cooperation

Updated: Jul 19,2017 2:25 PM     Xinhua

WASHINGTON — Vice-Premier Wang Yang said on July 18 that economic cooperation between China and the United States holds out a promising future thanks to China’s long-term economic development trend and market potential.

“Cooperation is the only right choice for our two countries. The giant ship of China-US economic and trade relations is sailing on the right course,” Wang said at a China-US business luncheon ahead of the first China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, which is slated for July 19.

China has been pushing forward economic restructuring and adhering to reform and opening-up in its economic development, and these efforts have yielded tremendous progress over the past decades, said Wang.

The contribution of China’s consumption to economic growth jumped to 77 percent in the first quarter of this year, up from 47 percent in 2013, he noted.

He added that China’s current account surplus relative to the GDP dropped from the peak of about 10 percent in 2007 to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, and that China has also been allowing broader market access and greater opening of the services sector.

The long-term certainty of China’s development and progress offers the most important external environment for foreign businesses in China, said the vice-premier.

As China is upgrading its economy, Wang said, there is far greater complementarity than competition between the world’s two largest economies. “The two countries have seen the space for cooperation expanded rather than narrowed,” he said.

China’s growing middle class and vast consumer market hold out great potential for American companies, said Wang, noting that in 2016 American exports to China via e-commerce surged by more than 100 percent.

In order to address trade imbalances, the vice-premier called on the United States to relax its outdated regulations on export control, stressing that as the Chinese economy climbs higher on the value chain, there is huge market potential for US exports of advanced technologies.

Taking integrated circuits (IC) as an example, he said that in 2016 China imported $227 billion of IC products, more than the imports of crude oil, iron ore and primary plastics combined, but only 4 percent came from the United States.

According to forecasts by the US-China Business Council, exports of goods and services from the US to China will double to 369 billion dollars in the next decade and rise to $520 billion by 2050.

In his speech, Wang stressed the importance of cooperation between the Chinese and US business communities.

“Your long-standing support and active participation have helped to create an atmosphere in favor of cooperation rather than confrontation for China-US business ties, and have contributed to the China-US economic relationship as it stands today,” Wang told the audience.

“Although there may still be twists and turns in our cooperation going forward, as long as you have confidence, the overall direction of China-US business cooperation will not change,” said Wang.

Wang is scheduled to co-chair the first China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue together with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. It is one of four major dialogue mechanisms the two sides established in April.