“Stop being suspicious about China,” Ambassador to the UK says

“Stop being suspicious about China,” Ambassador to the UK says

21/05/18

Luke Foddy, Communications Manager

The Chinese Ambassador to the UK has called upon the global community to “stop being suspicious about China,” in order to improve global trade relations and avert a trade war.

Speaking at London’s Asia House this morning, His Excellency Liu Xiaoming said that China’s economic rise was providing a “huge boost” to emerging economies where it is investing, but that hostility towards Beijing risks “hampering sustained growth” in these markets.

“Stop being suspicious about China and the see the bigger picture of China’s development in an objective light,” the Ambassador said.

In comments clearly aimed at recent the US rhetoric, the Ambassador added that the trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies is not a zero-sum game. “It is missing the big picture to see deficit as a loss and surplus as a gain. In China, we’d say this is missing the woods for the trees.”

He also said China was “committed to globalisation” and opening its economy further.

“If you close the door, you’re blocking your own way out,” he said.

The Ambassador was speaking at Asia House, the Centre of Expertise on Asia, on the current trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. Over the weekend, it emerged that talks between the two parties have made progress, with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying the looming trade war was “on hold.”

The breakthrough seems to be an agreement for China to buy more US goods, thus reducing its trade surplus with the US. However, Ambassador Liu said that China “would like to buy more,” from the US, but suggested America was a reluctant seller.

“China wants to buy more from the US but the question is whether the US will sell the things China wants.” He alluded to integrated circuits, of which China imported some US$216bn worth in 2017. Despite the US being a major manufacturer, only three per cent of those imports came from the US, the Ambassador said.

“We’d like to do more trade but both sides must do their part,” he added.

Asked about the other area of contention between China and the US – intellectual property (IP) – the Ambassador said it was in China’s interests to have robust IP laws, and that more reform was to come.

Last year, there were more patent applications in China than in the US, EU and Japan combined, Ambassador Liu said.

“China will press ahead with its reform of IP rights.”

Watch the event at Asia House TV