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China-U.S. Economic Dialogue Talks Begin; China Strikes Theme of ‘Working Together’

July 19, 2017 (EIRNS)—The talks are underway in Washington, D.C., today, between China and the United States, for the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue (CED) following the end of the 100-day period of negotiations mandated by President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump at their Mar-a-Lago meeting in April. Various trade initiatives came out of that 100-day process, including China importing U.S. beef for the first time since 2003, and pledging U.S. liquid natural gas imports. The United States is to accept imports of Chinese canned chicken, among other measures.

The expectation now, according to widespread media reports, is that a one-year China-U.S. plan for economic talks will be agreed upon.

In today’s meeting, Vice Premier Wang Yang represents China, and the U.S. leaders are Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Both in the preliminaries, and in the earliest reports today, Chinese spokesmen are striking the theme of measuring success in terms of starting an ongoing dialogue, that is, proceeding to identify common ground, no matter the many frictions. Vice Premier Wang spoke of this yesterday, in a keynote speech to the U.S.-China Business Leaders Summit in Washington. At a reception for him, hosted by Ross and Mnuchin, Wang made reference to a 2009 book by Trump, in which Trump quoted Henry Ford. Wang repeated Ford’s words, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

Secretary Ross yesterday likewise struck that theme, stressing, according to today’s Global Times, "the importance of Sino-U.S. trade ties and the bilateral relationship on the whole."

It is to be expected that Mnuchin will push for Wall Street demands—regardless of China’s stance—for more unrestricted "financial services" access in China. This is in line with Mnuchin’s attempted domestic decree that Glass-Steagall cannot be reinstated, nor any other sound banking reorganization taken. Joining Mnuchin at today’s CED discussions will be Jamie Dimon, of JP Morgan Chase, among many other bank and business leaders.

Yesterday’s summit was hosted by Jack Ma of Alibaba, and Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone. Participating firms today include Caterpillar, General Motors, and Wal-Mart. The Bank of China and other Chinese firms are represented.