Reuters: Did China make a huge compromise in the process of negotiating with the US trade agreement? In addition, in the possible trade agreement between China and the US, could China agree to the condition that the US could impose tariffs arbitrarily while the Chinese could not impose retaliatory tariffs?
On March 5, the second session of the 13th National Peoples Congress opened in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. This is Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce, who was interviewed at the ministerial corridor. Xinhua News Agency reporter Yin Gang
Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan: We are all concerned about Sino-US economic and trade issues, especially the recent Sino-US economic and trade consultation mentioned by this reporter. Today, I would like to make an exchange with you on the relevant situation between China and the United States during the 90-day consultation period.
Zhong Shan: First of all, the Sino-US economic and trade consultation should jointly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state. What I emphasize here is common. Last December, President Xi Jinping and President Trump successfully met in Buenos Aires and reached an important consensus. The two sides agreed to stop imposing new tariffs, resolve trade issues of concern to both sides through consultation, and clarify the principles and duration of consultation. The two sides also agreed to sit down for 90 days for consultations. It was a very successful meeting and became the highlight of the G20 summit. After the meeting, the stock markets of China and the United States stopped falling and rebounded, which also led to the rise of global stock markets. This shows the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, reflects the common aspirations of China and the United States, and also reflects the common expectations of the whole world.
Secondly, I want to talk about the principles that need to be adhered to in the Sino-US consultation. This principle is mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit reached by the two heads of state. Mutual respect means respect for their respective social systems and development models. Equality and mutual benefit means that the status of consultation is equal and the results of consultation are mutually beneficial. During these 90 days, the team of both sides held consultations on this principle.
Thirdly, it is also a matter of great concern and hope to know about, namely, the progress of the consultation. During the 90-day period, the two sides held three rounds of high-level consultations. Not long ago, Vice Premier Liu He, as Chairman Xi Jinpings special envoy, led the Chinese delegation to the United States for consultations. The consultation process is very difficult and arduous. What Im talking about here is difficult. Its difficult in our two countriessystems, cultures, development stages and so on. There are great differences between the two countries. If the two sides want to reach consensus, they need to seek common ground while reserving differences, and they need to make greater efforts. So its very difficult, very difficult.
Zhong Shan: Ive talked about it very hard because the time for consultation was very short. At that time, the time for consultation was decided to be two days, and then two more days, but the time was still very tight. Negotiations are very difficult because of their many contents, which requires our team to work overtime, night and day. They are hard working, professional and hard working. The consultation between the two sides was fruitful and achieved important results at different stages, with breakthroughs in some areas. On the basis of the consultation, the two sides agreed to extend the time limit of the consultation. It is not easy to achieve such a result without raising the tariff rate within this period, and we should cherish it even more.
Zhongshan: President Xi Jinping emphasized that cooperation is the best choice for China and the United States. Now the team is continuing to negotiate, because we still have a lot to do. Just now, this journalist friend asked me if I could reach an agreement, which requires mutual action and joint efforts of both sides. If we can reach an agreement, it will be conducive to the economic development of the two countries and the development of the global economy.