China vowed to take further measures to ease its booming trade surplus, but also called on the United States to treat it as an equal in an upcoming meeting between the two to discuss such tensions.
Vice Premier Wu Yi will lead a delegation of top officials to Washington next week for the second round of a “strategic economic dialogue” with the United States, at which the two are expected to discuss a range of economic and trade issues.
The United States has been pushing China to take more steps to trim its large surplus, including allowing the yuan to strengthen more quickly and opening up markets for a range of industries.
Wang Xinpei, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference that China aimed to achieve basic balance in its international payments and was not deliberately pursuing a trade surplus but that it would take a “certain long period of time” for it to disappear.
“In the future, we will take further steps to optimize the trade structure and transform the growth model of trade,” Wang said, adding that would include steps to promote exports of higher value-added products and services, while boosting imports of energy, raw materials, advanced technology and equipment.
“Meanwhile, we also hope that certain countries can scrap unreasonable curbs of high-tech exports to China so as to facilitate China to expand imports,” he said.
The United States currently places restrictions on exports of some technology to China out of concern that it could be used in military applications.
Wang emphasized that the “strategic economic dialogue” with the United States was meant to be a platform to discuss long-term, comprehensive issues.
US lawmakers and officials have said repeatedly that they will be looking for tangible results from the meeting, as a marker of progress in the talks.
“We hope that the United States will hold to the principles of mutual respect and equal treatment in working on the second round of the China-US strategic economic dialogue, to step up coordination with China and ensure the success of the second round of talks,” he said.
Wang said that Commerce Minister Bo Xilai would be among the officials attending the talks in Washington.
He added that Chinese and US officials would meet June 5-8 in Geneva to discuss two cases brought last month by the United States against China over its intellectual property rights regime and market access for books, music and other media. (Reuters)