China’s New Commerce Minister Wang Wentao’s New Vision of Reviving Trade with the USA

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Wang Wentao, in his first press conference as commerce minister on Wednesday, said China was willing to “strengthen exchanges” with the US on trade and the economy and cooperate “on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit”.

As commerce minister, Wang will help shape and implement China’s economic policy goals of boosting consumer demand, becoming self-sufficient in key technology industries and navigating a tumultuous trade relationship with the U.S.

The new minister pledged that China would continue to open up its economy, stabilize foreign investment and strengthen multilateral and bilateral economic and trade cooperation. He looks forward to working with U.S. colleagues to focus on cooperation and manage differences.

 

China looks forward to working with the new US administration to return bilateral trade and economic relations to “the right track”, a senior Chinese trade official said.

 

China will reinforce policy support for foreign trade and ensure the smooth operations of supply chains, Wang Wentao, the new commerce minister, said. To enlarge its “circle of friends” worldwide, China will step up efforts to expand the free trade area network across the world by negotiating and signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with more trading partners, viewed Wang.

President Joe Biden has yet to announce a strategy for dealing with Beijing.  But China is persistent in opening up wider and relaxing market-entry rules, Wang said, calling for the implementation of the new negative lists for foreign investment and more pilot areas for opening up the services industry.

 

Wang said he looked forward to “joint efforts” to “push bilateral economic and trade relations back to the track of cooperation”. He noted President Xi Jinping talked with Biden by phone on Feb 11 but gave no indication when negotiations might resume.

 

Wang Wentao said that President Xi Jinping recently delivered a special address at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda, elaborating on China’s consistent stand of upholding multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind. With the pandemic still ravaging the world, members should come together to join the global fight against COVID-19, strive to keep the market open, keep the global supply and industrial chains stable, and jointly build an open world economy.

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