The 22nd China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) was just held at Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and it was an occasion for each of the two parties to enter into deep exchanges of views and ideas about shared problems of interest, as well as to conclude documents on economic and commercial cooperation, including the “The U.S.-China Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation Framework Agreement” and the “Memorandum of Understanding on Support of the Energy Cooperation Program Between the U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) and National Energy Administration of China.” It was actually a routine meeting on communication between the United States and China with regards to economic and commercial cooperation. And yet, as for international public opinion, it bestows particular attention upon the attitude and the position of both parties concerned, as well as their subjects of discussion. The interest of the international community can be explained by the difficult and terrible situation in which the world economy currently finds itself, and also by the importance of economic and commercial exchanges between the two countries, which both carry quite a bit of weight in the world.
Importance is decided by weight carried, while weight decides influence. During the last APEC Summit held in the American state of Hawaii, Chinese president Hu Jintao indicated that, when taking into account its current level and speed of growth, it’s nearly certain that Sino-American commerce will surpass 500 billion U.S. dollars in the next three to four years. He followed it up by saying that Sino-American economic and commercial cooperation by its very nature is win-win and mutually beneficial. That is why it’s important that both parties deepen and expand their cooperation, which is not only profitable to the improvement of the life and well-being of its peoples, but also directly connected to the economic gain and ulterior development of the entire world.
Five thousand billion U.S. dollars constitutes a value that more or less equals the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a medium-sized European country. A commercial and economic cooperation of such a size directly determines the position and the importance of Sino-American commercial and economic trade in the relationship between the two countries, as well as in the economy of the Asian-Pacific region and in the economy of the entire world. And especially now, where the economic stagnation and recession of the United States and in Europe is seriously felt within the world economy, it’s particularly important that Sino-American economic and commercial cooperation happens in a stable and normal way, for the strengthening of the world’s economy is directly linked to it.
Managing and controlling Sino-American economic and commercial relations is actually an extremely complex work. To reinforce the pragmatic cooperation so that both parties can profit from it equally, it’s necessary to continuously improve and perfect the method so that it functions efficiently, and even more importantly, at the same time using a wide open spirit, an innovative and creative intelligence as well as a long, penetrating and refined view. Several cooperation and economic/commercial communication mechanisms have already been established between the two countries, thus it is important to assure their normal function so that the contradictions and problems that surge can be managed efficiently. This will allow for reducing as much as possible friction and disputes, while at the same time building mutual confidence.
Sino-American economic and commercial relations constitute some relatively sensitive problems. In Washington, it’s very easy to use economic and commercial problems and politicize them, which means that simple problems can become complicated and difficult to resolve. How can we make it so that this type of problem can stay in the economic and commercial frame, and is no longer used by electoral candidates? It’s much easier said than done. For the moment, it is more important to do what is necessary to avoid the politicization of commercial and economic problems and prevent commercial protectionism from regaining lost terrain. As for the people who push the difficulties and problems they encounter onto others, their behavior is completely insensitive and absurd, not to mention that it won’t help them at all and is completely pointless.
Huge efforts were made to allow Sino-American economic and commercial cooperation to have such a large level of support and importance. While accommodating and adapting itself to the situation all along, the two parties involved have each accumulated experiences and put their new ideas into practice. Without these innovative ideas, it would have been hard for the Sino-American relationship to be where it is today. As a result, when it is necessary to find a solution to certain annoying problems that pop up from time to time, it would be equally necessary to use an innovative spirit to eliminate as much as possible the restrictions imposed by certain old and stodgy rules that are no longer useful. As for the Americans, they must release and soften the measures of control and restrictions imposed on the exportation of high-tech products to China, and act with prudence while taking measures of business assistance as well as recognizing the economic status of the Chinese market. To this effect, the Americans must act effectively to show their frankness and sincerity.
The world economy still continues to face the risk of regressing, that’s why everything must be done to assure its growth – that above all is the primordial urgent task of the current hour. As for China and the United States, who are the two biggest economic entities of the world, it is more important than ever for them to make every effort to maintain the fast and stable development of the respective economy, for that’s in the interest of the entire world and will be the biggest contribution they could make to it. It’s important for both parties to reaffirm this idea and to continually enlarge their community of interests, which will allow them to create from here on out other worldwide economic development opportunities.
Edited by Louis Standish