Trade Resources Policy & Opinion The Road of Sino-U.S. Economic Partnership Will Be Broader and Brighter Keynote Speech by Vice Premier Wang Yang at the Forum on Sino-U.S. Commercial Relations

The Road of Sino-U.S. Economic Partnership Will Be Broader and Brighter Keynote Speech by Vice Premier Wang Yang at the Forum on Sino-U.S. Commercial Relations

Distinguished Minister Pritzker, Ambassador Froman, Ambassador Dard, Ladies and Gentleman:

It is my great pleasure to get together with you in the beautiful city of Chicago and jointly attend the Sino-U.S. Commercial Relations Forum. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs for your careful organization and pay high tribute to people from all circles who are long devoted to trade and economic cooperation between China and the United States.

Sino-U.S. commercial relations are a topic we can often obtain some new fruits from when we talk about it again and again and relevant discussions can be found in an immense number of books. “The United States and China: Global Economic Partners” was regarded as the topic on the sidelines of celebrating the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries to grasp the trend of Sino-U.S. commercial relations, which is of great significance. Just now, three American counterparts have delivered wonderful speeches which have enlightened me a lot. Here, I would like to talk about some of my own opinions:

Firstly, economic partnership is not a “forced marriage” between the governments of the two countries, but the result of a right combination of market entities. As friends in our lives are chosen by us rather than parents, today’s Sino-U.S. economic partnership is the self-determined option of enterprises from both sides looking at commercial interests. The governments only comply with the aspiration of market entities and do the things that win the support and votes of people so as to enable us to be economic partners. Last month, when President Barack Obama visited China, Xinhuanet and Tencent jointly carried out an opinion survey with almost 90,000 participants. One of the questions was that “In what areas do you want to see most China and the United States to cooperate?” The answer that ranked the first was that “coordination should be strengthened in trade and economic fields between the two countries”, a choice of 45% of the respondents. Coincidentally, a survey by the U.S.-China Business Council this year showed that 96% of the American enterprises surveyed still regarded China as one of the five markets for global strategic investment planning, a five year high which reached the peak value in the five years.

Secondly, China and the United States becoming economic partners have created a history of mutually beneficial cooperation between great powers with different systems. China and the United States are different in national conditions, development phases, social systems and ideologies. We once misunderstood each other for more than 20 years because of these differences. 42 years ago, when President Nixon visited Beijing, he bluntly told Premier Zhou Enlai: “I’m coming for the interests of the United States.” Politicians of that generation broke the ice of system and ideology with huge courage and created the history of enabling China and the United States to be important economic partners, which has not only benefited the peoples of the two countries but also benefited the whole world. The history of 35-year diplomatic ties between China and the United States shows that great powers with different social systems do not fall into the necessity of “Thucydide’s trap” and differences in system and culture cannot prevent both sides from being win-win economic partners. At present, under the background of China fully integrating into global economy with a continuously extending economic aggregate, the way in which the United States treats China still needs strategic vision. History has proven that both confrontation and cooperation have cost, but the cost of cooperation is lower with higher benefit. We can better control our differences, solve contradictions and be economic partners of sustainable development as long as we have the strategic consensus of strengthening cooperation and seeking win-win results.

Thirdly, China and the United States are global economic partners, but it is the United States that leads the world. When China began to implement the reform and opening up policies, the United States had already been leading the system and rules of the world economy. China’s opening up means that we are willing to join this system and basically admit these rules and we are also willing to play a constructive role in the international economic system. Although China’s economic aggregate has ranked the second in the world, it is only equivalent to 55% of that of the U.S. and its per capita GDP is only one eighth of that of the U.S.. What’s more, the United States still plays a leading role in key technologies that are the driving force for the world economy and various rules that shape the world economic order. We have a clear understanding of this. China does not have any ideas or capabilities to challenge the leading role of the United States. We only want to let the United States better know the thoughts of China, understand Chinese national conditions and respect the path selection of the Chinese people in cooperation with them to keep the differences in political system from blocking economic cooperation.

Firstly, China will continue to pursue the win-win opening strategy and implement a new round of high-level opening up. We will persist in the rules of the world trade system and bilateral, multilateral, regional and sub-regional opening up and cooperation, expand benefit confluence with all countries and regions, reform such management systems as market access, customs supervision and inspection and quarantine and accelerate negotiations on such topics as environmental protection, investment protection, government procurement and e-commerce to form a high-standard free trade area network facing the whole world and promote reform by opening up.

Secondly, China will firmly promote the adjustment of the economic structure and push forward a more balanced, coordinated and sustainable development of economy. The recently concluded Central Economic Working Conference clearly put forward that China’s economic development will insist on centering on improving the quality and efficiency of economic development, actively adapt to the new normal of economic development and put more emphasis on the concept of transferring the mode and adjusting the structure. China will change the priority from relying on factor-driven force to innovation-driven force and pay more attention to the sustainability of development. We will give priority to developing the service industry, vigorously cultivate such consumption hotspots as pension, tourism, education, health, culture and sports, encourage the development of such new emerging industries as the Internet and e-commerce, deeply tap the development potential of domestic demand, implement a more active import strategy and increase the imports of advanced technological equipment, key components, clean energy and high-and-mid-end consumer goods, and accelerate weeding out backward capacity to enable the industrial structure to be more reasonable. The scale of China’s consumer market will continue to expand and the demands for overseas advanced technology, equipment and service will be stronger.

Thirdly, China will accelerate improving socialist market economic and legal system to create an international and law-based business environment. Efforts should be made to accelerate unifying laws and regulations on domestic and foreign investment, establish fair, open and transparent market rules, abolish various regulations and practices impeding fair competition, guarantee that economies of various ownerships can participate in market competition publicly, fairly and justly and be protected by law on an equal basis, insist on strictly standardizing law enforcement in a civilized manner, innovate enforcement systems, improve enforcement procedures, fully ensure the right of foreign enterprises for information, expression, supervision and relief, deepen the judicial reform concerning foreign affairs, promote the construction of intellectual property courts, improve the working mechanism of judicial protection of intellectual property, simplify the authorization procedures of intellectual property, strictly and equally protect the rights of Chinese and foreign enterprises according to law, strengthen law service concerning foreign affairs and actively provide such necessary conveniences as judicial remedy, lawyer service and translation service for foreign enterprises in China.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that a mature Sino-U.S. economic partnership needs institutionalized guarantee. At present, more than 90 inter-governmental cooperative mechanisms have been established between the two countries. The China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade is not only a “fire extinguisher” to solve problems, but also a “thruster” to promote cooperation. The goal of holding the Joint Commission is to create a sound environment for practical cooperation between enterprises of the two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Rockefeller has said that the emotion based on business is far better than business based on emotion. The Sino-U.S. economic partnership, based on broad and common interests, is firm and lasting and can live through the changing global climate. Cooperation is the mainstream in the economic relationship between China and the United States and differences always exist, like several waves in a surging river. We cannot be seduced by beautiful flowers, nor blindfolded by floating clouds. We need to use telescopes to look into the distance instead of using microscopes to find faults. I believe that far-sighted people with wisdom and responsibility are certain to take a good tiller of the boat of Sino-U.S. trade and economic cooperation and enable it to advance against waves and reach the win-win shore.

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