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China tells US to commit to market economy

Beijing has urged Washington not to politicize bilateral trade and to abide by “basic norms” of market economy

Chinese Premier Li Qiang hosted US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Beijing on Sunday. Following the talks, both top officials said relations between the two nations were “stabilizing,” but a number of issues remained unresolved.

Yellen’s visit is the first high-profile meeting between the US and China since US President Joe Biden hosted his Chinese counterpart in California last November. While both sides have now expressed reserved optimism about improving ties, no specific breakthrough appears to have been reached during Yellen’s visit.

“While we have more to do, I believe that, over the past year, we have put our bilateral relationship on more stable footing,” she stated during discussions. Topping the secretary’s agenda were Chinese trade practices that allegedly put American workers and companies at an unfair disadvantage.

Beijing apparently views American trade practices as unfair as well, given that Li urged the US to stick to “basic norms” of market economy.

“It is hoped that the United States will abide by the basic norms of market economy including fair competition and open cooperation, refrain from turning economic and trade issues into political or security issues, and view the issue of production capacity objectively and dialectically from a market-oriented and global perspective,” the premier told Yellen during the meeting, as quoted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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At the same time, the top official said the bilateral relationship “is beginning to stabilize under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state,” with Beijing hoping the two countries would ultimately become “partners rather than adversaries, with mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.”

The American effort to mend ties with China under the Biden administration has traveled a rather rocky road, with relations between the two powers still strained in multiple areas ranging from trade to tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea, as well as differing stances on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Moscow has been actively building its ties with Beijing, becoming its largest oil supplier.

US-China negotiations were put on ice in late 2022 following a visit by then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. The infamous flight of an alleged Chinese spy balloon across the US in early 2023 temporarily further dented the rapprochement process.

April 08, 2024 at 02:36AM

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