China and the United States are inching ever closer to reaching a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement with substantial progress achieved on specific issues in their latest round of high-level economic and trade talks ending on Sunday in Washington.
While the Chinese delegation said the two countries have made substantial progress on specific issues in such areas as technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights and non-tariff barriers, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he "will be delaying" the increase of tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled on March 1.
The past rounds of negotiations were powered by the implementation of the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump, who met in December last year after the closing of the G20 summit in Argentina.
During the three rounds of high-level talks in nearly one month, both Chinese and U.S. presidents met the two negotiating teams to offer guidelines and impetus for future engagements.
Bona fides and practical efforts, which have always been key to settling the disputes between China and the United States in economy and trade, have been fostering growing consensus, patching up differences and been well-received by both countries and the international community.
Frank exchanges have been a catalyst in settling the disputes. It is the best choice for both China and the United States to keep consultations on an equal footing and in the light of the consensus reached by the two presidents before a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement could be reached.
The extension of the latest round of negotiations and the delaying tariff increase on Chinese imports testify to the sincerity, high attention and sense of urgency of both the Chinese and U.S. sides. Yet they also indicate that there are still some differences that need more time to be ironed out.
For all its worth, the past week has been key for the world's two largest economies, as are their future actions. After nearly one year of painstaking negotiations, every step in the last-shot period counts, and any mutually beneficial breakthrough lies in the ability of both sides to keep engagement on an equal footing.
Even with tough nuts to crack in the future, the two sides have no better alternative but to work with each other for their own good and the interest of the whole world. In their efforts to hash out an agreement, China and the United States are better advised to work for the best results while preparing for the worst scenario.
China sees the trade frictions as both challenges and opportunities. To realize its long-term development goal, China needs to secure its core interests and push forward deeper reforms at the same time.