Tao Rans notes: calm and steady progress

 Tao Rans notes: calm and steady progress

The news from the State News Agency soon came out.

From October 10 to 11, Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chinese leader of the Sino-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, held a new round of high-level Sino-US economic and trade consultation in Washington with U.S. Trade Representative Lethizer and Finance Minister Mnuchin. Guided by the important consensus of the two heads of state, the two sides held frank, efficient and constructive discussions on economic and trade issues of common concern. The two sides have made substantial progress in agriculture, intellectual property protection, exchange rate, financial services, expanding trade cooperation, technology transfer and dispute settlement. The two sides discussed arrangements for follow-up consultations and agreed to work together towards a final agreement.

From the content of the news, substantive progress has been made in many areas in this round of consultations. Follow-up arrangements have been discussed and joint efforts towards a final agreement have been agreed.

How do you view this result?

In fact, judging from the various situations before and after this round of consultation, it is not enough to describe the current complex situation only with positive optimism or negative pessimism.

In Tao Rans notes, this round of consultations is moving forward under the pragmatic action of both sides, but to maintain this momentum, the wisdom and patience of both sides are still very tested.

First of all, as far as the consultation itself is concerned, we should see the efforts made by the two teams to advance the consultation.

This round of consultation was held in the US Trade Representative Office (USTR) office building, which continued the simplified form and went straight to the theme.

At about 8:57 a.m. Washington time on October 10, Vice Premier Liu He arrived at the USTR building. US Trade Representative Letterheiser and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin welcomed him at the door as early as possible.

The two sides met and greeted at the door. The three leaders looked relaxed and Letterheiser also showed a rare smile.

The three leaders took a group photo at the entrance of USTR building, and then entered the meeting hall to start consultations.

It is understood that before the formal consultation began on the 10th day, the original plan was to have a 20-minute small-scale meeting of the leaders, divided into two sessions in the morning and afternoon, with lunch break arranged at noon.

However, the news on the Internet showed that the 10-day talks started at 9 a.m. and lasted for nearly nine hours. There are only two five-minute breaks. According to Tao Rans notes, the leaders met for an hour and 20 minutes on the 10th.

It is said that this is the proposal of the US side - since the time is tight, it is better to order takeout at noon and hurry up to continue. As usual, talk while eating.

On the 11th, there was also an episode.

A reporter crouching on the spot said on the Internet that 11 was Letheisers 72nd birthday. When the Chinese delegation arrived in the morning, Vice Premier Liu He wished him a happy birthday. Wright Xize was very happy to express his thanks, pulling Vice Premier Liu He and Mnuchin to wave to the media on the spot and saying Birthday Wave.

So what did we talk about in two days?

China is here with great sincerity and is willing to have serious exchanges with the US on issues of common concern such as trade balance, market access and investor protection, so as to make positive progress in the consultation.

The two sides fought against time and worked together to make this consultation a step forward.

Secondly, as far as the situation facing the consultation is concerned, progress has been made, but there is no need to be overly optimistic.

From the content of the news, the two sides have made substantial progress in agriculture, intellectual property protection, exchange rate, financial services, expanding trade cooperation, technology transfer, dispute settlement and other fields. Such progress is rare in the past rounds of consultations.

However, the consultation is moving towards solving the problem, but the situation is still complex.

On the one hand, the US tariff imposed on China has not been abolished, and Chinas counter-measures are still being implemented. The confrontation between China and the United States in economic and trade frictions has not changed completely.

On the other hand, some people in the US have not given up the means of extreme pressure.

For example, during this round of talks, the US media released the whisper that the White House was considering increasing pressure.u2014u2014

The New York Times reported on the 10th that people familiar with the matter revealed that the White House was considering expanding the options of negotiating tools from tariffs to restricting Chinas access to the U.S. capital market and conducting a greater review of Chinese enterprises.

For example, before the current round of consultations, some Americans used human rights as an excuse to put 28 Chinese local government agencies and Chinese enterprises on the entity list to impose sanctions. Recently, some people on the US side have repeatedly claimed that Chinas involvement in US domestic politics has complicated the negotiation situation.

Of course, the complex situation has existed since the beginning of the trade war, and the change of the US sides agenda has repeatedly made it more difficult to negotiate.

When we speak, we mean what we say.

Therefore, we should not be too optimistic because of the progress of this round of consultations. The next process needs more pragmatic action, high wisdom and full patience.

In addition, we need to make good use of the valuable experience of seeking common ground while reserving differences in the development of Sino-US relations in order to move forward the consultations and truly solve the current problems.

From the tense situation in early May, to several reversals since June, and now China and the United States are back at the negotiating table - people have sat down, but the differences between China and the United States have not been eliminated. Moreover, some people play the old trick of extreme pressure from time to time, and the atmosphere of the negotiation can be completely reversed without seeing it.

Both sides need to adjust their space, increase mutual trust and create a positive atmosphere conducive to consultation. The so-called delay makes circle.

However, it is not easy to achieve this, which is also determined by the new situation facing China-US relations.

Talking while talking may become the norm, and we should adapt to it as soon as possible.

This possibility cant be said to be absent, but theres a bigger possibility to see.u2014u2014

China and the United States can still find a way to manage their differences and take into account the best common denominator of each others interests.

If the US side can realize more profoundly that there is no winner in the trade war and solve the problem through consultation and cooperation with China on the basis of equality and mutual respect, then this protracted trade friction will not find a substantive solution, and all the tariffs imposed will be abolished as soon as possible.

If the Sino-US economic and trade issues can be properly resolved, it will give a good start to the control of differences in other areas between China and the United States, which is of great significance both to China and the United States and to the world.

Before that, China and the United States had had quarrels, struggles and fierce confrontations. However, after trying all the ways of getting along except cooperation, China and the United States finally chose the road of seeking common ground while reserving differences.

It is no empty talk that China and the United States will benefit from each other while fighting will hurt each other.

Have differences but do not avoid them, express them publicly. There are contradictions, but we should not neglect common interests and seek common ground while reserving differences.

However, this is not a task that can be accomplished unilaterally.

Only when the two sides truly seek common ground while reserving differences can they really open a breakthrough to solve the problem until all tariffs are abolished.

Source: Tao Rans Notes

Source: Responsible Editor of 21st Century Economic Report: Yang Bin_NF4368