Amazingly, the U.S.-China trade relationship remains stable

Foreign Affairs

China and America’s trade and economic relationship was, until recently, the main sore point between the two governments. Now it has become the only thing their officials are willing to talk about politely.

taoran ting
Taoranting Park, after which insider blogger Taoran Notes is said to be named. Image by Nikolaj Potanin.

U.S. and Chinese trade officials — Chinese Vice Premier Liú Hè 刘鹤, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — had a phone call yesterday, and “reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal,” reported Reuters. Chinese state media said more or less the same thing.

It seems the Chinese negotiators intend to honor the deal — despite all the other noises coming out of the Trump administration — if we are to believe a WeChat post (in Chinese) from Taoran Notes, a Beijing insider who reportedly has close ties to Liu He, who says the role of trade still has a prominent role as a “ballast” and a “propeller” of U.S.-China relations.

Another sign of China’s commitment to keep its economic relationship with the U.S. on track: Beijing “says it has made concessions in proposing to let U.S. regulators to audit some of its most sensitive companies and is calling for direct talks to solve a years-long dispute that threatens global markets,” per Bloomberg.