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2006-07-07 20:23

Work Together to Open a New Chapter in China-US Trade and Economic Cooperation——Address by Premier Wen Jiabao of China at Luncheon Hosted by the American Bankers Association in New York



  Mr. Chairman,

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  With the approach of the 25th anniversary of China-US diplomatic ties, I have come to your country on an official visit at the invitation of President Bush. New York City is the first leg of my current trip and I am really delighted to join so many old and new friends here. I wish to express my special thanks to the American Bankers Association for its gracious hospitality, and to pay my respects to all those who have for years dedicated themselves to greater trade and economic cooperation between our two countries. I also wish to convey, through you, my cordial greetings and best wishes to the great American people.

  In recent weeks, China and the US have been coping with some differences and frictions over the trade issue. As such, my current visit has been given rather intense attention. Let me first assure you that I have come to this country to seek friendship and cooperation, and not to fight a “trade war”。

  Many a difference derives from a lack of understanding. I am convinced that with dialogue and consultation,China and the US are entirely able to narrow their differences and broaden their areas of cooperation.

  When talking about China-US trade, we should not overlook one fundamental fact, that is, in the past 25 years, two-way trade has experienced a tremendous expansion. From merely 2.5 billion US dollars in 1979 to over 100 billion today, the increase is dozens of times. Does such a huge increase benefit only one side at the expense of the other? Or is China the winner and theUS the loser? The answer is obviously no. In fact, both countries have reaped tremendous benefits from the rapid expansion of China-US trade.

  No one in his wildest imagination could have expected 25 years ago the sheer magnitude of China-US trade and economic relations of today. With over 40,000 US-invested enterprises, the paid-in value of the total US investment in China now stands at 43 billion US dollars. Of the top 500 UScompanies, more than 400 have come to China, and most of them are making a handsome profit. The McDonald's and KFC chain stores are found in almost every Chinese city, large or small. Products bearing such famous American brands as Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, P&G, Kodak and GM sell quickly on the Chinese market. Of every ten rolls of films used by Chinese consumers, seven are made by Kodak. Wal-Mart and other US retailing firms are also doing successfully in China. At the same time, many Chinese merchandizes have become favored choices of US consumers. The number of Chinese-invested enterprises in the US has surpassed 700.

  As we all know, trade and commerce form the economic foundation of our bilateral relations. Being mutually beneficial and win-win, China-US trade and economic ties have not only delivered tangible economic benefits to the two peoples, but underpinned the overall relationship, giving it a powerful driving force for a steady expansion. As for the contribution made by the thriving China-US economic partnership to the prosperity of the surrounding areas and the world economic growth, it is there for all to see.

  The reason for such a rapid growth in China-US trade lies, in the final analysis, in the high degree of complementarity of the two economies, which, to a large extent, stems from their big differences in economic resources, economic structures and consumption levels.China is the world's largest developing country with a huge market, fast development and a low cost of labor, but short in capital and relatively backward in technology and management. On the other hand, the US is the world's largest developed country, big in economic size, abundant in capital, and advanced in science and technology. But the cost of labor in the US is very high. Such diversity and complementarity will remain for a long time, and are likely to feature more prominently in the ongoing economic globalization. This, in my view, is the material basis for the sustained and rapid expansion of China-US trade.

  Depicting how climbers of the towering Mount Tai feel, an ancient Chinese poem goes, “I must ascend the mountain's crest; it dwarfs all peaks under my feet.” When approaching problems in China-US trade, we also need to take a strategic perspective of vision and foresight. Problems such as US trade deficit withChina, the RMB exchange rate, and IPR protection, are of concern to many quarters of US society. But they are also problems that come along with expanded China-US trade, and they can be ironed out gradually since common understanding on them is entirely obtainable. They should not, and will not, stand in the way of the larger interests of China-US trade. As whirlpools are sometimes found in a surging river, the flows of history can also be interrupted by some occasional setbacks. As bilateral trade and economic relations grow in size, some frictions are hardly avoidable. So long as the two sides act in good faith, such problems can be resolved properly through equal consultation and expanded cooperation.

  During my interview with The Washington Posttwo weeks ago and my meetings with American friends at other times, I explained our positions on the above hot issues. If you still have some questions, I will be glad to answer them later on.

  A review of China-US trade and economic relations in the past quarter of a century reveals certain important experience and lessons that we should bear in mind. Now, I would like to propose the following five principles for fair trade and economic partnership betweenChinaand the US for your consideration:

  First, mutual benefit and win-win result. Thinking broadly, one should take account of the other's interests while pursuing its own.

  Second, development first. Existing differences should be resolved through expanded trade and economic cooperation.

  Third, greater scope to coordinating mechanisms in bilateral trade and economic relations. Disputes should be addressed in a timely manner through communication and consultation to avoid possible escalation.

  Fourth, equal consultation. The two sides should seek consensus on major issues while reserving differences on minor issues, instead of imposing restrictions or sanctions at every turn.

  Fifth, do not politicize economic and trade issues.

  These five principles are based on the WTO framework and existing norms of international trade. They are essential for a correct understanding and proper handling of possible trade disputes or frictions between our two countries in the years ahead. The core elements of these principles are development, equality, and mutual benefit. Development is our driving force, equality the premise, and mutual benefit our goal. This, in my opinion, also serves the need for a constructive and cooperative relationship to which both sides are committed.

  Take the problems of our trade imbalance for example. By putting development first, we mean to take a forward-looking approach that allows us to narrow the trade gap through continued expansion of two-way trade. As you all know, we do not go after an increase of US trade deficit with China. But reducing Chinese exports to the US is no good answer, for so doing serves neitherChinanor the US in solving its unemployment problem. Instead, it will seriously harm the interests of millions of American consumers and US firms operating inChina. A more realistic solution is for the US to expand its export to China. We on our part have demonstrated the utmost sincerity and made our greatest effort by substantially increasing import of farm products and machinery from theUS, and placing more purchasing orders for needed American commodities. At the same time, we hope theUS will recognizeChina's market economy status, and lift its export restrictions on high-tech products. I ardently hope that the relevant US departments will make a clean break with those obsolete concepts and anachronistic practices, and throw them into thePacific Ocean, so as to boldly keep pace with the times.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  I for one have full confidence in the future of China-US trade and economic cooperation. The road ahead might not be all smooth sailing, but the prospect is surely promising. Internationally, China-US economic partnership faces a window of rare strategic opportunity. A pattern featuring economic interdependence, mutual benefit and win-win, a pattern of each having something of the other, is taking shape. I have noticed that theUSeconomy has started its long-awaited rebound. And I would like to tell you in a responsible manner that China's economy will maintain a sound growth momentum for a considerably long time to come.

  -Chinaas a whole has entered the crucial stage of industrialization and urbanization. And the strong domestic demand will keep its economy growing continuously.

  - Continued structural innovation has made Chinese economy increasingly dynamic. The market now plays an essential role in the allocation of resources. The public sector has become more vigorous thanks to restructuring, reorganization and upgrading, and the non-public sectors have made giant strides.

  - The Chinese Government is more capable of macro-economic control and regulation. We successfully coped with the impact of the Asian financial crisis, and managed to pull off an 8.5 percent growth this year, despite the SARS epidemic.

  -China's opening-up is getting even wider and its investment environment better.Chinais now one of the world's safest places. We have done a fruitful work in honoring our WTO commitments, and more and more foreign investors have been attracted toChina.

  Given the above, we are confident in our ability to maintain an economic growth rate of around 7 percent for a long time to come, reaching a GDP level of over 4 trillion US dollars by 2020. In the next three years,China plans to import over 1 trillion US dollars worth of goods, and its service sector will open still wider to the outside world. The rapidly growing Chinese economy will not only benefit the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but expand the horizon of trade and economic cooperation betweenChinaand other countries, the US included, creating a huge number of opportunities for Chinese and American businesses.

  The Chinese Government will continue to encourage foreign investment and protect foreign investors inChina. As its consumption structure and industrial structure upgrade,China needs more and more advanced know-how, equipment and services. The southeast coastal region ofChina, in particular, is well poised to becoming home to a number of manufacturing hubs. Moreover, while we are pressing ahead with the western development program, the large-scale overhaul of Northeast China and other old industrial bases is under way. American business and financial communities are welcome to seize these opportunities and expand their presence in the Chinese market. We want to see more large US firms working together with Chinese enterprises, and we hope the small and medium-sized US firms can also join in.

  Let me tell you this, I plan to make a proposal to President Bush to raise the level of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, so as to better serve bilateral trade and economic cooperation. I am sure he will agree with me.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  China's development relies mainly on domestic demand. We do not seek long-standing, excessive trade surplus, but work to maintain a basic balance between import and export. We hope the two sides will set store by the larger interests of China-US relations, seize the opportunities by enhancing trust and dispelling suspicion, and work persistently to bring bilateral trade and economic cooperation to a new high.

  As a famous American saying goes, “The golden age is before us, not behind us.” We are ready to work together with our friends from the US business and financial communities to open a new chapter in China-US trade and economic cooperation.

  Thank you.






  谈到中美贸易问题,首先要看到一个最基本的事实,这就是25年来我们两国之间的贸易有了巨大的发展。从1979年的不足25亿美元,发展到今天的 1000多亿美元,增长了几十倍。这种巨额增长,是不是只对一方有利而对另一方不利?或者说只是中国赚了而美国亏了?不是。事实上,两国都从迅速发展的中美贸易中获得了巨大的利益。

  25年前,也许谁也不曾想到,中美经贸合作能有今天这样大的规模。今天,美国在华投资设立企业超过4万家,实际投资430亿美元。美国500强企业中,已有400多家进入中国,大多数企业获利丰厚。麦当劳、肯德基遍及中国大小城市。微软、英特尔、摩托罗拉、宝洁、柯达、通用汽车等美国驰名品牌的商品畅销中国市场。中国人用的胶卷,每10卷中就有 7卷是柯达产品。沃尔玛等零售企业在中国也有很大发展。与此同时,在美国的市场上,许多中国商品受到美国消费者的青睐。中国在美国投资设立企业超过700 家。


























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