Executive Intelligence Review


China Sends Top-Level Officials to Washington To ‘Correct and Stabilize’ Relations

Feb. 28, 2018 (EIRNS)—An editorial comment Feb. 27 in China’s Global Times (“Senior Officials’ U.S. Visit Aims To Avoid Further Trade Conflicts”), points out that the recent visits to Washington of two of China’s most senior-level and trusted officials—State Councillor Yang Jiechi (China’s highest foreign policy official) two weeks ago, and this week senior economic advisor to President Xi Jinping, Liu He—is very unusual.

They reflect, however, the fact that bilateral relations with the U.S. are at a crucial point, and that China “hopes to correct and stabilize the direction of Sino-U.S. relations as soon as possible,” according to Diao Daming, an associate professor at Renmin University of China. Yang Jiechi dealt with key international and regional issues, such as Korea, while, according to the Foreign Ministry, Liu will deal more with bilateral relations, particularly trade and economy.

Given recent U.S. “offensives” against China on trade issues, Liu’s mission “could be tough,” according to An Gang of the Pangoal Institution in Beijing. It will be his job to let Washington know that Beijing can act proactively and “counter U.S. actions in trade conflicts.” But, he can also brief the U.S. on China’s “new general plan on economic reform” laid out after the 19th CPC Congress. When Liu spoke at the World Economic Forum at Davos this year, he indicated that China plans a series of new measures on reform and opening up, Global Times recalls, noting that Donald Trump, too, is pushing economic reform. Thus, it concludes, the key to Sino-U.S. coordination “is to realize mutual promotion while both sides push for reforms.” In other words, An stresses, “they need to find a new foundation for win-win cooperation.”

Importantly, he adds that rebalancing Sino-U.S. economic ties “cannot simply rely on increasing imports from the U.S. and reducing exports to the U.S., and both sides should seek a solution from their structural reforms.”