The newly-appointed consul of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Chu Maoming, has said that China is not to blame for the failure of the trade talks between it and the United States of America.
In a statement he signed, he said the accusations against China of backtracking on its pledges and infringing upon US concerns were not true, insisting that China always kept to its part of the agreement.
“The 11th round of China-US high-level trade talks ended recently with no agreement reached. The Trump administration labeling China with “reneging on promises,” claimed that it has seen an erosion in commitments by China, and accused China of backtracking on its pledges and infringing upon its major concerns. Such false accusation about China is nothing but a lie.
“Keeping promises is a moral principle that the Chinese nation has always adhered to. During the last 40 years, China opened its door for construction and shared the outcomes of its reform and opening up to the outside world. The contribution it made to the world economy is obvious to all.
“The country has always fulfilled its commitments since its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). By firmly supporting the multilateral system, largely lowering tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers, and opposing unilateralism and protectionism, China is showing to the world an image of a responsible and faithful major country. By 2010, China had fulfilled all of its tariff reduction commitments, reducing the average tariff level from 15.3 percent in 2001 to 9.8 percent.
“As early as 2007, China had honoured all of its commitments on trade in services, and now the breadth of the country’s openness in this sector is close to the average level of developed countries. Even the Office of the United States Trade Representative has praised China’s performance in the WTO in many of its annual reports, saying the Chinese government has fulfilled WTO commitments.
“Since last year, the country has taken a slew of measures to further open up, including the tariff reduction for automobiles and cosmetics, the issuance of the foreign investment law, and widened market access. Now, the manufacturing sector of the country is open to foreign investment in an all-round manner. In addition to keeping promises, China is doing further. The major reform measures announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation have won positive responses from the world, indicating that China is advancing steadfastly with full confidence.
“China has always promoted consultation and negotiation with utmost sincerity, hoping to achieve an agreement that leads to win-win results based on equality and mutual respect ever since China and the United States started trade talks last year. Even after the United States threatened to raise tariffs setting a huge barrier on the eve of the 11th round of talks, the Chinese delegation still flew to Washington for further consultations.
“The United States and China reached consensus on trade and issued a joint statement on ending trade frictions in Washington in May last year. However, only days later, the Trump administration said it would impose a 25-percent tariff on 50 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports which contain industrially significant technology. The two parties also reached a deal in energy and agricultural cooperation at the beginning of last June, but the United States backtracked within one month.
“Six months later, the two sides reached consensus on the value of China’s purchases from the United States, but in the following talks the U.S. side once again rejected the deal. Earlier in May this year, the United States decided to raise additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, on the eve of the latest round of trade talks. It is quite clear it is the U.S. side that, more than once, changed its mind overnight, and broke the tentative deal already reached,” Chu Maoming said.