China-US trade friction can be resolved through mutual respect – Ambassador

Shi Ting Wang

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Shi Ting Wang, on Thursday said the Chinese Government believes that mutual respect and equality is the trump-card to resolving the China and the United States economic and trade friction.

He said the Chinese Government was committed to truly resolving the trade hostilities through negotiation since taking entrenched positions would not do anyone any good, rather it would negatively affect the global economy.

He said the Chinese economy was a “big ocean” and “not a small pond” and was capable to withstand external trade pressures, noting that, the Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed 90 trillion RMB (equivalent to $13.8 trillion) in 2018, which is about 16 per cent of the total global GDP.

Consequently, China’s GDP grew by 6.4 per cent year-on-year while the growth rate exceeded expectations, with its per capita GDP hovering around $10,000.

Mr Wang made this known when he delivered a public lecture at the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana, Legon, to throw more light on the China-US economic and trade friction.

The lecture was held on the topic: “Dust Will Settle as We Go Along”, which attracted senior and young lectures, economists, civil society, students and the public.

The US Government imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products in 2018 and Beijing retaliated in equal measure.

After months of trade hostilities, both countries agreed to halt new trade tariffs in December, last year, to allow for negotiations but that faded, with the US imposing more than double tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

The Chinese Government also retaliated with tariff hikes on $60 billion worth of goods from the US, with duties of up to 25 per cent covering a wide range of industrial and consumer items – from handbags to railway equipment.

The Chinese Ambassador acknowledged that imposing tariffs and implementing unilateral measures only harmed the interests of the people and business environment of both countries, adding that sound and stable economic partnership between the two nations was not only important for them, but to the global economy.

Mr Wang said that the trade friction between China and US would only end when the latter stopped imposing unjustified tariffs on Chinese products.

He expressed the belief that the trade friction between the two would not affect China’s economic relations with Africa, and for that matter Ghana, and pledged its resolve to promoting free and fair trade policies with the rest of the world.

The Chinese Government, he said, over the years, had maintained cordial and good trade cooperation with Africa because Chinese shared common history and principles with Africans, and believed the relation with Africa had a brighter future.

The Chinese Ambassador debunked claims by the US that it was “stealing intellectual property,” which was affecting America’s innovation capacity, explaining that China invested nearly two trillion RMB (equivalent to $307.7 billion) in research and development expenditure every year.

He said since China entered the World Trade Organisation in 2001, Chinese firms had paid intellectual property royalties to foreign right holders and registered an annual growth of 17 per cent, reaching $28.6 billion in 2017, with over seven billion dollars going to US firms.

“China is No.2 producer of scientific papers and No.1 patent filer in the world and protecting the intellectual property is in line with China’s own interests. Chinese economic success has never been achieved by stealing from anyone, and will never be,” Mr Wang said.

A Chinese Delegation visited the US last year, and held the 11th round of high-level trade and economic consultations with the US Government in the bid to resolve the trade hostilities.

Source: GNA

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