US experts praise keynote speech at Boao
2018-04-15 11:13:00

US experts responded favorably to President Xi Jinping's speech at the Boao Forum for Asia on Tuesday.

In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the annual forum held in Hainan province, Xi voiced China's determination to proceed with further reform and opening-up, including laying out plans for some specific economic sectors.

Amy Celico, a principal at the consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group and a former senior director for China affairs at the Office of the US Trade Representative, described Xi's speech as "encouraging to many of us".

Celico said that Xi's speech had four themes: improvement in the market environment, market access for foreign firms and investment opportunities for foreigners and also creation of a strengthened intellectual property protection regime in China for the benefit of foreigners and the domestic economy.

She also called it "a very restrained speech" because "it did not call out the United States", adding that Xi did speak about a zero-sum mentality and Cold War mentality being bad for the global economy.

Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, said, "This speech is yet another bid by Xi Jinping to be seen as an earnest advocate of globalization and market-oriented economic reforms." Prasad is a former China division chief of the International Monetary Fund.

"China has thus responded to proposed US trade sanctions with a mix of conciliation and proportionate retaliation, putting the ball back in the US court," he said.

Prasad said the administration of US President Donald Trump now has the opportunity to get bilateral trade negotiations back on track and move toward an outcome that would be acceptable to and in the interest of both sides.

Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said, "Every time we have a statement from a head of the State that reiterates their commitment to opening-up, we welcome that."

But he said that to the US business community in Shanghai, what's more important is to see tangible results.

Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, attended the Boao forum when Xi spoke. "It was very strong pro-globalization, a defense of China's past opening-up. He outlined four additional areas of liberalization," he said.

Steve Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, voiced his deep concern over the rhetoric in the US National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy documents regarding China.

"I think it's important for the strategic community in Washington to talk about whether that's the right policy for the United States. Do we really want to go down this path, branding China a strategic competitor?" he said.

Orlins said he thinks what Xi was communicating was that China is still open but also will defend itself. He said he interpreted the message as being: We are not going to provoke anything, but if the United States wants to come and be confrontational, we are prepared to respond.

Source:China Daily Editor:Nicky
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