Vastavam web: China and America are “competitors but not adversaries,” US Sen Lamar Alexander told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday, despite a spiralling trade war and other tensions that have pushed relations to their lowest point in years. The upbeat message at their meeting in Beijing came amid concerns that the US-China trade dispute will drag on, hurting company profits and the overall US economy. Tensions have also arisen over China’s claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea, allegations of Chinese theft of commercial secrets and accusations of meddling in American politics.
Coming a week ahead of the US midterm elections, the visit by Alexander at the head of a seven-member delegation of Republican senators and congress members seemed all the more extraordinary. All are strong supporters of US President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on USD 250 billion on Chinese products and threatened much more.
In his comments, Li said he hoped the US will meet China halfway to “have the wisdom to overcome the obstacles and move our relationship forward on an even sounder track.” “This not only benefits our two countries, but also benefits the entire world,” Li said. long with criticising China’s large trade surplus with the US, Trump has targeted China’s efforts to transform itself into a global leader in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technology industries.
American officials worry that might erode US industrial leadership, and the US, Europe and other trading partners say Beijing’s tactics violate its market-opening obligations. Trump’s tariffs of up to 25 per cent are part of an effort to pressure Beijing to roll back those plans, sparking a Chinese backlash. China has struck back with duties on soybeans and pork, affecting farmers in the Midwest, a region that supported the president in his 2016 campaign.