NEW YORK – China’s official white paper on its position on economic and trade consultations with the United States is the “clearest signal” that Beijing seeks to “enable subsequent trade talks with the US to proceed with equality and dignity,” a leading US expert on China said Monday.
“The white paper has been widely interpreted in the foreign media as China (is) widening the gap and escalating the war. I disagree,” Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua. “I think that interpretation has it backwards. I view the white paper as quite the reverse, as preparing the way for serious negotiations.”
China’s State Council Information Office published the white paper on Sunday, denouncing US unilateral and protectionist measures, criticizing its backtracking on China-US trade talks, and expounding China’s stance on trade consultations and pursuit of reasonable solutions.
“My point is that China’s white paper restores a kind of balance in the public relationship, which can then enable subsequent negotiations to proceed with equality and dignity,” Kuhn said.
“China makes the high-road call for ‘matters of principle’ and directly addresses what is reported to be the prime area of disagreement: enforcement,” he said. “China asserts that if a trade agreement is reached, it will honor its commitments sincerely and faithfully.”
“To me, that statement, now overtly public, is the clearest signal that China seeks, indeed anticipates, successful negotiations,” Kuhn said.
“I see confirmation in the white paper’s conclusion, where China stresses coordination, cooperation and stability, win-win as the only path; looking forward not backward; and solving disputes and conflicts through dialogue and consultation,” he added.