In this file:


·         China insists US must remove all trade war tariffs as part of deal, says commerce ministry spokesman

·         Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s  address to the World Economic Forum in China





China insists US must remove all trade war tariffs as part of deal, says commerce ministry spokesman


·         US President Donald Trump previously said that he wanted some tariffs to remain in place for a ‘substantial period of time’, even extending beyond any agreement

·         Washington also urged to fulfil its promise made at the G20 summit to allow American firms to resume selling products to telecommunications firm Huawei


Frank Tang, South China Morning Post

4 Jul, 2019


China has insisted that all tariffs on Chinese imports added by the United States during the trade war must be scrapped immediately as part of any deal to end the year-long conflict, which would require the Trump administration to give up its position that some levies remain in place even after an agreement is reached.


US President Donald Trump agreed to pause placing tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional US$300 billion of Chinese imports not yet subject to taxes after his meeting with Xi Jinping at the G20 summit last weekend in Japan.


But for any deal to be reached, US tariffs of 25 per cent on US$250 billion of Chinese imports that remain in place must be removed, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng on Thursday, underscoring that there are still many issues to be resolved to end the conflict as it approaches its one-year anniversary on Saturday.


“The US tariff hike on Chinese products was the trigger for bilateral trade frictions, so all the additional tariffs imposed since [the beginning of the trade war in July 2018] must be scrapped once there is a deal,” Gao said at Thursday’s regular media briefing in the first public comments on China’a demands for a trade deal since the truce was announced in Osaka.


“Consultations must be conducted based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The deal must be balanced, equal and mutually beneficial. China’s core concerns must be addressed.”


Trump said on March 21 that he wanted some tariffs to remain in place for a “substantial period of time”, even extending beyond any trade deal.


“We’re talking about leaving [the tariffs in place] for a substantial period of time because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China, that China lives by the deal,” Trump told reporters outside the White House at the time.


Washington’s refusal to remove all tariffs and its long-list of burdensome demands were key reasons why trade negotiations broke down in early May, Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s top negotiator, has previously said.


Trade teams from both countries remain in contact, Gao said, without providing any time frame for the resumption of formal, face-to-face talks. Agricultural product trade would be an important issue to be discussed with large room for cooperation in the area, Gao added...


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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s  address to the World Economic Forum in China


H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council, The People's Republic of China

World Economic Forum - 05 Jul 2019


Professor Klaus Schwab, Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.


It is a great pleasure for me to come back and meet with all of you in this beautiful city of Dalian. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to offer warm congratulations on the opening of the 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions. My sincere welcome goes to all distinguished guests and journalists who have come all the way to join this event.


In the current international context, the focus of this year’s Annual Meeting on globalization issues is highly relevant. In his important remarks at the G20 Osaka Summit held last week, President Xi Jinping further elaborated on China’s position and propositions on economic globalization and reaffirmed China’s readiness to work with the international community in steering economic globalization in the right direction.


There has been much discussion on economic globalization in the international arena in recent times. First and foremost, we need to recognize that economic globalization, which is a natural requirement and outcome of social productivity growth and scientific and technological progress, has broadened the markets for producers, offered more choices to consumers, and brought about more efficient allocation of resources and factors of production. It has enabled better international division of labor and more effective leveraging of countries’ comparative strengths, thus bolstering the sustained growth of the world economy for the past few decades. Overall this process has delivered benefits to all countries across the world.


The latest round of industrial revolution, born in the age of economic globalization, has closely knitted together global industrial, innovation and value chains thanks to the ubiquitous, networked platforms. This has not only injected fresh impetus into world economic development, but also lowered the threshold for access, presenting unprecedented opportunities for equal and convenient participation and vigorously enhancing inclusive growth.


We now live in a world of profound economic interdependence. Countries rely on each other’s markets. No country can single-handedly provide all the resources and factors of innovation for producers, or offer all the needed goods and services to consumers. Nor can any country sustain its development in isolation from the global system of division of labour.


Having said that, we need to acknowledge the lack of inclusiveness that has arisen in the course of economic globalization, such as inequality in opportunity, uneven benefit distribution, and shocks to traditional industries and employment. For these issues, we need to make comprehensive and in-depth analyses to find out the root causes and address them with targeted solutions. A problematic tendency we see right now is to simplistically make a scapegoat of economic globalization, which instead of helping matters in any way, will only undercut the foundation of world economic and trade growth.


It is crucial that countries remain committed to the general direction of economic globalization, and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. At the same time, we need to improve institutional arrangements to promote equal rights, equal opportunities, and fair rules for all, so as to better adapt to and guide economic globalization in the direction of mutually beneficial, balanced and inclusive development.


At the national level, countries need to pursue inclusive growth by improving the income distribution system, and deliver the benefits of growth more widely in their societies. The international community needs to increase assistance to the less developed countries, and support their deeper integration into the global industrial, innovation and value chains, so that they can grow their economy, create more jobs, and improve their people’s well-being.


Risks facing the world economy have increased to a certain extent, from a slow-down in international trade and investment, intensified negative impact of protectionism, to greater uncertainties and destabilizing factors.


In response, various countries have taken proactive measures, such as cutting interest rates or signalling more accommodative policies. Human society makes progress by drawing on past experience and lessons. Years ago, we jointly tackled the international financial crisis by coordinating our policies and achieved notable results. We should earnestly learn from and carry on this experience.


At the same time, the medium and long-term effects of the quantitative easing and excessive money supply adopted in the wake of the crisis should be evaluated, and the pros and cons of such policies should be weighed carefully.


In the face of the downward trends in the world economy, countries need to renew the spirit of partnership as we are all passengers in the same boat. We need to maintain equal consultations, seek common ground, while shelving or managing our differences, and forge synergies.


The rules-based, WTO-centred multilateral trading system is the bedrock of economic globalization and free trade, and an important underpinning for steady global growth. Its authority and efficacy should be respected and safeguarded.


China supports necessary reforms of the WTO. Nevertheless, its fundamental principles such as free trade should be upheld, and the WTO should not waver in fulfilling its mission of opening markets and promoting development and in moving in the important direction of narrowing the development gap and North-South divide.


The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China aims to promote inclusive development by encouraging the integration of more countries and regions into economic globalization. It has created new opportunities for countries and businesses around the world. We welcome the active participation of all parties in order to achieve interconnected and win-win development through mutually beneficial cooperation.


Ladies and Gentlemen, in the past 40-plus years of reform and opening-up, China has shared opportunities and benefits with other countries through opening-up and actively integrated itself into the international division of labor and the global industrial, innovation and value chains.


In this process, we endured huge pressure, paid high prices, and experienced a lot of pain. But we saw economic globalization as an irreversible trend and never lost sight of the general direction of integrating into the world economy. We stood firm in the face of all difficulties and our efforts finally paid off: China has not only achieved its own development, but also brought benefits to the whole world.


The past four decades and more saw China open itself ever wider to the world and fully honour its commitments. China fulfilled all its WTO accession commitments regarding tariff reduction as early as in 2010, lowering its overall tariff level from 15.3% before accession to 9.8%. On top of that, China’s repeated voluntary moves to cut tariffs in recent years have brought its overall tariff level further down to the current 7.5%.


According to WTO figures, China’s trade-weighted average tariffs stand at 5.2%, lower than most other developing countries and higher than the average level of developed countries by less than 3 percentage points.


We have opened up our markets...