China, US must both take action to end trade war, make progress, Chinese state media says

Teddy Ng

China and the United States should both take steps to resolve their year-long tariff war, the impact of which has been felt around the world, Chinese state media said on Friday, as top negotiators from the two sides prepare for their latest round of talks.

“Continuing the war will only lead to a lose-lose situation. Negotiation is the only way to resolve the problem,” the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said in a commentary.

“The problem between China and the United States cannot and should not be allowed to escalate,” it said.

“Both sides should take actions and make efforts to prepare for the talks, and create favourable conditions for making substantive progress.”

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He spoke to his US counterparts over the telephone on Thursday. Photo: EPA

The commerce ministry in Beijing said on Thursday that a Chinese delegation would travel to Washington early next month for face-to-face talks with their US counterparts.

The announcement came after China’s Vice-Premier Liu He spoke to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin on the telephone – their first such conversation since August 13.

Liu He urges US senators to ‘deepen mutual understanding’ to resolve trade war

The People’s Daily commentary said the talks were expected to be calm and that those taking part had the vision to create opportunities for “win-win cooperation and momentum for world prosperity”.

At the same time it reiterated Beijing’s position that China would never give up its core interests and would “fight till the end”.

“The Chinese economy is being transformed from focusing on high growth to high quality development,” it said. “China has sufficient micro policy tools to continue the positive momentum for economic development.”

The country had already improved the business environment for US companies and stepped up its efforts to provide better intellectual property protection, which was conducive to resolving the trade conflict, it said.

CCTV says China and the US should stick to the consensus reached by their presidents, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. Photo: AFP

Meanwhile, a commentary by state broadcaster CCTV said China and the US should stick to the consensus reached by US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping when they met in Argentina in December and in Osaka in June.

“By going to Washington to continue the talks it shows that China is willing to resolve the problems with a responsible attitude, to keep calm and rational,” it said, but added that it would not take rushed or drastic action.

“The aim is to minimise the impact of the trade war on all parties,” it said. “The Chinese side will, as always, do its utmost to push forward negotiations with sincerity, and continue to handle its own affairs well and calmly deal with all possibilities”.

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