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Xi for closer trade ties with US

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Beijing, March 27: China’s nationalist leader Xi Jinping has called for closer trade ties with the US during a meeting with top American business leaders in Beijing that comes amid a steady improvement in relations that had sunk to the lowest level in years.
Xi emphasized Wednesday the mutually beneficial economic ties between the world’s two largest economies, despite heavy US tariffs on Chinese imports and Washington’s accusations of undue Communist Party influence, unfair trade barriers and theft of intellectual property.
China’s economy has struggled to recover from severe self-imposed restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic that it lifted only at the end of 2022, but Xi said China was again contributing to world economic growth in the double digits percentage-wise.
“Sino-US relations are one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. Whether China and the US cooperate or confront each other has a bearing on the well-being of the two peoples and the future and destiny of mankind,” Xi told Xinhua news agency.
Participants at the meeting included Stephen A. Schwarzman, the billionaire head of investment firm Blackstone.
Trade and tariffs have increasingly drawn attention in the runup to the US presidential election, and the Biden administration has shown little sign of moderating punitive measures against Chinese imports imposed by his predecessor and assumed rival in the November polls, Donald Trump.
US officials have renewed concerns over Chinese industrial policy practices and overcapacity, and the resulting impact on US workers and companies, that they blame in part on China’s massive trade surplus that amounted to more than $279 billion last year, its lowest level in about a decade.
China’s economy has been bogged down by a crisis in its property market in which builders are struggling under mountains of debt and buyers are paying off loans on apartments that may never be completed. Other issues, such as an aging population and high youth unemployment, are prompting China’s leaders to lean more heavily on boosting export manufacturing to make up for weak demand at home. (PTI)

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