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a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation

Time:2019-10-18 21:37Shoes websites Click:

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China can manage, deal or no deal, analysts say

The outlook for growth in China-US trade was likened to Beijing's weather on Monday - which turned for the better after a cold and gloomy week - by a senior official with China's General Administration of Customs (GAC), citing the latest sign of progress in trade talks.

"As the trade talks make progress, we believe China-US trade will be like the weather in Beijing today, and achieve growth," said GAC spokesperson Li Kuiwen at a press conference on Monday, where quarterly trade data was released.

The Chinese capital saw its first sunny day on Monday after almost a week of gloom.

Analysts noted the importance of China-US trade but remained cautious about its development in the fourth quarter.

China's trade with the US stood at $402.66 billion in the first nine months of the year, down 14.8 percent year-on-year, according to Li.

Exports to the US were down by 10.7 percent to $312 billion, and imports from the US were down 26.4 percent to $90.66 billion.

Li's analogy came as the latest high-level trade talks between China and the US wrapped up last week in Washington.

China and the US achieved substantial progress in multiple areas after holding a new round of high-level economic and trade consultations on Thursday and Friday in Washington, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday (US time) that a phase-one deal will be signed in the near future, and that China has already started buying US agricultural products.

Li said the trade war exerted pressure on China's foreign trade growth to "a certain extent." He noted, however, the sector was still able to post growth in the first three quarters due to the generally stable growth of the domestic economy, the implementation of favorable policies and diversification efforts.

US role diminishes

As the trade war bites, the US' importance to China as a trading partner has steadily declined.

Trade with the US accounted for 12 percent of China's total foreign trade in the first half of the year, customs data showed. In 2017, the figure was 14.2 percent.

The figure for the first three quarters was around 12 percent, according to the Global Times calculation.

Tian Guangqiang, an assistant research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that trade prospects between the world's two largest economies will depend on the outcome of a trade deal.

"If the US can strike a deal with China, its trade volume with China will improve and its status as China's third-largest trading partner will strengthen a great deal. If there is no deal, the US will cut imports from China further, but this will still be manageable for the Chinese side as diversification efforts are paying off," Tian told the Global Times on Monday.

China's trade with countries and regions along the routes of the Belt and RoadInitiative increased by 9.5 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters and trade with Africa grew 7.5 percent, customs data showed on Monday.

Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Monday that if there is some sort of deal, exporters and importers in both countries may start contracts that can be completed within a short time period, as they are still concerned about the flip-flop tendency of Trump's policies.

"Those contracts that require a long time period will continue to be put on hold," Bai said.

"Due to the quality and complementary nature of China-US trade, China should seize any opportunity to improve it but at the same time prepare for any sudden changes in attitude by the US," noted Bai.

"The structural issue of the trade balance is for the long term."

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Monday that China hopes the two sides can meet each other halfway and properly address each other's concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect, when asked about past flip-flops by the US side.

Chinese stocks ended higher on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 1.15 percent to close at 3,007.88 points.

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