China Sincerely Intends to Reduce Trade Surplus: Government Think Tank


One of China’s leading state-sponsored think tanks is playing down the direct impacts of escalating trade tensions with the United States.

Zhang Yansheng (张燕生), chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that China’s trade surplus vis-a-vis the US is a key part of its “globalisation surplus,” and that from this perspective China sincerely intends to dial it back.

Zhang made the remarks on 8 April at a press conference held for the 2018 Boao Forum, in response to questions from media on Sino-US trade tensions.

According to Zhang China’s future exports will consist of “global investment, global production, global exports, global logistics and global services,” and China’s trade surplus will “continue to reduce over a comparably long timeframe.”

Zhang also said that “cooperation is the only correct choice for the two great nations of China and the United States,” and that he hoped that both nations could “jointly cooperate while making the crossing in the same boat.”

Zhang’s remarks arrive just after the Trump administration’s 301 tariffs investigation proposed a 25% tariff on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to retaliate with tariffs of their own, as well as file a dispute proceedings with the World Trade Organization.

With regard to how long the current trade fracas will continue, Zhang said that it would be a matter of “the patience of both parties.”

“China’s own economic structure is extremely diversified, and for this reason has very large room to manoeuvre.

“The direct impact brought by trade frictions isn’t great, but what we must focus on are indirect impacts.”