Chinese diplomat calls for joint efforts for better China-US relations

It is hoped that US President Donald Trump's China visit will add momentum to efforts from both sides to build a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation.

It is hoped that US President Donald Trump's China visit will add momentum to efforts from both sides to build a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation, a senior Chinese diplomat stationed here said Tuesday.

In a signed article published in the Seattle Times, Luo Linquan, China's consul general in San Francisco, elaborated the mutual benefits of the bilateral ties and identified a few stumbling blocks for the further development of the relationship.

The article, titled "Building better China-US relations together," said that the Chinese and American peoples are great peoples and if China and the United States work together, both the Chinese Dream and the American Dream will have a much better chance to come true.

Trump's first state visit to China, which begins on Wednesday, comes at an important time, Luo said.

"For China, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party that just concluded has set the direction for China's future development for at least the next five years. For the United States, it's the first time President Trump will set foot in China," Luo said.

He noted that China-US relations have developed steadily amid numerous challenges and dramatic transformations of the world in the past four decades, and that the breadth and depth of this relationship were beyond anyone's imagination more than 40 years ago.

About 1.7 billion US dollars of goods and services flows between China and the United States every day, Luo said.

"China is America's largest export market outside of North America and also the second-largest market for US agricultural exports, accounting for 15 percent of those exports. On average, each US farmer exports about 12,000 dollars of agricultural products to China, which was the United States' largest goods-trading partner last year," Luo said.

He placed high hopes on the huge potential for China-US trade to further grow in the e-commerce age.

The Chinese consul general cited a report released in April by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the Rhodium Group as saying that mutual investment between the two countries in 2016 reached 60 billion dollars.

The number of Americans employed by Chinese-affiliated companies rose to more than 140,000 - a 46 percent increase since 2015, he said.

However, the Chinese top diplomat in San Francisco warned that some issues could threaten the mutually beneficial relations, citing the Section 301 investigation initiated by the US trade representative's office on Aug. 14.

"The bilateral trade imbalance is a long-standing issue caused by multiple factors, and there is no quick fix," Luo said.

He said the US side greatly exaggerated American trade deficit by counting products assembled in China with none of their components originating from China as Chinese exports.

Another stumbling block hindering a balanced development of the China-US trade is US restrictions on high-tech exports to China, which also significantly contribute to the deficit, Luo said.

"If the US trade restrictions are cut to the level of France, its trade deficit could drop 34 percent," Luo argued, citing an April report from the US Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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