Wang Huiyao: Xi-Trump meeting at G20 should push forward China-US free trade zone negotiation
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The expected Xi-Trump meeting has been a focus in the run up to the G20 summit in Argentina. “The timing of the meeting is of great significance. The year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s opening up and reform while it’s almost 40 years for China and the US to establish diplomatic relations,” said Wang Huiyao, the founder and president of Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a leading independent global think tank in China.

In his perception, the coming face-to-face communication has released significant signals, especially against the backdrop of deteriorating trade frictions. “The two parties should sit down to talks, instead of continuing the trade war.”

“There are many areas in which the US and China could communicate and facilitate each other’s development. The US should admit that China has pushed continuous opening up in various fields.”

In the financial sector, China has again and again sped up its pace for two-way opening up, with authorities announcing related policies in multiple financial sectors including foreign banks, insurance, securities, and trusts. Take insurance as an example. According to Wang, China has raised foreign ownership limit to 51 percent. In three years’ time, there will be no limit anymore.

In the auto sector, being the world’s top auto producer and market, China has detailed timetable for opening up its auto industry. Meanwhile, China has lowered duties on imported cars.

From the Belt and Road Forum to Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized “China will shut the door to the outside world but open more.”

The hardline stances of some US high-ranking officials are predictable, and Trump has brought his businessman style into inter-governmental negotiation. However, to cancel the tariff hikes, many aspects must be considered.

Both parties should expedite their negotiations about a China-US free trade zone. The Obama administration once tried to push forward negotiations over the Bilateral Investment Treaty. Now, the talks have stranded. Maybe both China and the US could also join TPP to support establishment of a multilateral agreement, Wang said. 

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