The business deals reached between China and the United States last week actually significantly exceeded the $253.5 billion signed at ceremonies during US President Donald Trump’s state visit to China, according to a senior commerce official on Monday.
President Xi Jinping and Trump witnessed the signing of commercial documents with a total value of $253.5 billion on Thursday.
China’s Vice-Minister of Commerce Yu Jianhua said aside from those documents, there were many deals in which agreements were reached separately involving complex, big-ticket contracts such as chemical and energy import deals that have taken months or years of negotiations to complete.
“These commercial contracts involve trade and investment projects, with some needing to be implemented immediately and some settled via long-term talks,” said Yu. Without specifying an amount for such contracts, he said they were significant and will benefit both countries.
It took a month and half of talks, for example, before China Petroleum and Chemical Corp and Bank of China were able to sign a joint development agreement last week with Alaska Gasoline Development Corp and the State of Alaska to jointly build an integrated liquefied natural gas system valued at $43 billion.
Chinese and US companies signed 34 deals worth $253.5 billion during Trump’s visit, involving energy, the chemical industry, environmental protection, culture, medicine, infrastructure, smart city development, and business projects in markets related to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Yu said the results achieved between businesses of the two nations during the visit demonstrates the robust enthusiasm and support of the two business communities for a closer relationship. It will surely inject new impetus into economic and trade relations between China and the US, he said.
“The meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump was a successful one and has great historic significance, drawing a new blueprint for bilateral economic and trade relations,” said Yu, who also is China’s deputy international trade representative.
These deals meet the demand of companies from both nations, as many high-tech US companies are eager to compete with their European rivals, but certain export restrictions still exist, said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.
“China, in the meantime, also needs a large number of high-end US products as the country has already entered a new era of development supported by supply-side structural reform with a stronger focus on supply quality and economic rebalancing,” Li said.
Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said, “Even though there are voices in the United States calling for protectionist trade measures or having a trade war with China, the two sides can work out new solutions, and bilateral ties won’t be shaken by such opinions.”
Wei called for closer collaboration in agricultural product trade, environmental protection, civil aviation and high-tech products, clean energy, finance and urbanization.
Robert Aspell, president of Cargill Investments (China), a branch of US agricultural conglomerate Cargill Inc, said his company is glad to see positive movement in China-US trade relations in recent months, and hopes to see further progress from Trump’s China visit that will strengthen bilateral economic ties and facilitate open and inclusive global trading policies that benefit both countries.