US criticism now more constructive, says economist

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2006, 12:00am

Washington's latest trade report on China could be seen as an improvement over previous criticism levelled by the US government, an economist said yesterday.

Andy Xie, chief economist for Asia-Pacific at Morgan Stanley, welcomed the report and saw possibilities of the two sides co-operating.

'I think the US government is becoming a bit more constructive,' he said. 'If you can have concrete proposals on how to enforce intellectual property rights better, then the Chinese government will probably work with the US government.'

Other experts saw the report as a precursor to President Hu Jintao's visit to the US in April. Chen Wenjing, a senior economist at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation in Beijing, said the review was aimed at giving Washington more bargaining chips when Mr Hu met US President George W. Bush.

'It's an old tactic of the US. Every time there is a special political occasion, the Sino-US trade problem becomes a hot talking point,' he said.

Mr Chen expects the mainland to focus on long-term mutual benefits between the two countries, rather than concentrating on the US trade deficit with China.

'I think President Hu will tell the US that China has tried to make the cake much bigger and let more people benefit from it,' he said. 'For example, China is encouraging more Chinese enterprises to invest overseas and employ more staff.'


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