China and the US could overcome their differences and bring relations back on track if they work together in a spirit of mutual respect, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) told a group of visiting US politicians yesterday.
China and the US are locked in an increasingly bitter trade spat, with both countries having placed tariffs on some of each others imports.
Meeting a group of Republican senators and one representative in Beijing, Li said that over the past four decades of diplomatic ties, the China-US relationship has had its “share of ups and downs.”
“The sound and stable growth of China-US relations serves the common interests and the fundamental interests of the people of our two countries,” Li said.
“We do hope that China and the United States will meet each other halfway, and work together in the spirit of mutual respect and equality,” he added. “In this way, our two countries will be able to overcome differences, and have the wisdom to overcome the obstacles and move our relationship forward on an even sounder track.”
US Senator Lamar Alexander told Li that the delegation was there “to show our respect to a great country and a great people.”
“Your country and our country are competitors, but not adversaries, and we believe that with mutual respect we can continue to prosper together,” he said.
Alexander said he would be discussing trade with Li, although neither of them mentioned the ongoing tariff spat in front of reporters.
US President Donald Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs on all US$500 billion-plus imports from China if Beijing fails to meet his demands for sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property, technology transfers, industrial subsidies and local market access.
However, Trump has not “set in stone” any decisions on escalating tariffs on Chinese goods and might withdraw some duties if there are promising policy discussions with China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday.
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