|Consul General Zhao Jian's Speech at the Asia Watch Seminar|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be here at today's event and to discuss with you Asia's development, particularly China's development, and the China-U.S. economic and trade relations.
Asia is one of the most dynamic and promising regions in the world today. In the past decade, it has contributed 60% to the global economic growth, and China alone has on average contributed nearly 30% to the global economic growth each year, making it the biggest engine of the global economy for years on end.
Yet as the current trade war continues to heat up, not only have the Chinese and U.S. economies taken a major hit, but the global economy has shown signs of slowdown. Both the World Bank and the IMF have lowered their global economic growth forecasts for this year and next.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations. Over the past 40 years, despite the twists and turns, the Sino-U.S. ties have made historic progress. Bilateral trade has soared from less than $2.5 billion USD the time we established diplomatic relations to over $630 billion USD, and our two-way investment, which was essentially non-existent 40 years ago, has now exceeded $240 billion USD. A look-back at the development of this relationship tells us that we both stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation, and cooperation and dialogue make us both better-off than conflict and confrontation. Moreover, the development of Sino-U.S. relations has not only brought great benefits to the people of our two countries, but also contributed significantly to global peace, stability and prosperity. To maintain sound and steady growth of our relationship not only serves the fundamental interests of our two countries, but also meets the common aspiration of the international community.
At their Osaka meeting on June 29, President Xi Jinping and President Trump agreed that the two sides would work together to promote a bilateral relationship grounded in coordination, cooperation and stability and resume trade talks on the basis of equality and mutual respect. They also agreed that the U.S. would not impose new tariffs on imported goods from China. However in early August, Washington announced that it would impose 10% tariff on another $300 billion USD worth of Chinese goods, in breach of the Osaka agreement reached between the two leaders and a departure from the right course of action. It has left China with no other option than to take countermeasures. China does not want to engage in a trade war, but we are not afraid to fight one if we have to. It must be pointed out that imposition of tariffs will not help resolve any problems, and there are no winners in trade wars. The only right way forward in solving the trade frictions between China and the U.S. is to engage in constructive negotiation and dialogue that are based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and accommodate each other's concerns.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The success we have achieved over the past 70 years is the result of the hard work of the Chinese people. It is also inseparable from a peaceful international environment and our mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries. That is why China stays committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up, and is dedicated to working with all other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind. China will continue to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that has been proven suitablt to its national conditions. Yet we have no intention to export our ideology or values, nor do we intend to replace, crowd out or seek to gain hegemony over any country. No matter what will happen in the international arena, China will never halt on its path of reform and will only open its door even wider to the outside world.
At the G20 Osaka Summit, President Xi announced a series of new measures for opening up, and reaffirmed China's commitment to building an even better business environment. I believe that the world will see that China has no intention of building up towering walls or cutting ties with any country. On the contrary, it will have lower tariffs, shorter negative list, easier market access and greater transparency in market rules. A more open China will create more opportunities and make greater contributions to the world. I hope that the business people in China and the U.S. will continue to support bilateral exchanges and cooperation for the mutual benefit and common development of our two countries.