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Li Zhao on the Future of China-U.S. Relations

July 16, 2017

*Reposted from

Video Transcript

CGTN's Wang Guan: "I am now joined by Li Zhao, she is the co-founder and president of China Iowa Group a consulting company that offers strategies for trade with China. I want to begin by asking you about the China U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue beginning this Tuesday. What do you expect to be the major outcomes, especially in terms of trade and investment at the local levels?"

Li Zhao: "Well, the spokesperson yesterday said that more is going to be released this Tuesday, so at this point we do not really know much about it. But just based upon the signals coming this last week, there was a delegation of seven Chinese companies that signed a $5 billion USD trade deal here in Des Moines, Iowa and that has really re-enforced our expectation that there is going to be more deals conducted between the two sides."

CGTN's Wang Guan: "As you suggested at local levels is seems that in fact, China is the top three exporting market for 33 U.S. states, including Iowa but at the federal level we see that China fear mongering seems to be happening every now and then.  With groups rigorously reviewing some Chinese investment, especially in strategically important sectors. Do you think there is a federal local disconnect here in the United States when it comes to welcoming Chinese investment?" 

Li Zhao: "Yes, it seems that way. In Iowa our previous Governor, now the Ambassador to China has made the commitment in welcoming Chinese investment here in Iowa. And our new Governor, Kim Reynolds,  has made that commitment as well. She is going to China next week to promote more agriculture trade as well as attracting Chinese investment. As far as we can see at our local level, Chinese investment is very welcome. To get back to your point, the review process has been addressed by our ambassador Yesui as well as other parties here. Hopefully we will see more alignment in that area."

CGTN's Wang Guan: "Well that's certainly the hope here. Also, China's department of commerce issued a white paper saying that China and the U.S. are very complimentary in terms of trading relationships, Iowa in fact provided a third of China's soybean demand. Where do you see the trading relationship's going to now, especially in terms of local connections?" 

Li Zhao: "We believe the trade relationship will grow stronger and more robust like a mentioned ealier, our governor is taking the all agriculture trade delegation to further promote (Iowa's) agriculture products going to China. And the Chinese buyers were here in Iowa this past week to sign a USD $5 billion trade deal, one of the largest ever, we expect to see more and more of them coming here. And you know with the beef having access to China, that is another USD $2.5 billion market.  We believe the trade relationship is going to look more bright."

CGTN's Wang Guan: "Let me put it bluntly Ms. Zhao, some say there seems to be a geopolitical flavor in some investment and trade decisions made by the U.S. in the past. For example, there was the U.S. high export band on China, market economy status that the U.S. is reluctant to recognize so it can find a substitute country to levee anti-dumping duties, do you think those are issues facing U.S. China relations?"

Li Zhao: "Yes, they are definitely tough issues. But having said that, those issues have been there for quite some time. They have not just all the sudden appeared with the new administration. If you look at the steel anti-dumping case, it has been for the past decades or so also the tire case launch by the Obama administration. The two sides have always been able to sit down and conduct a very positive constructive dialogue to work through those differences and there is no reason to believe this time they could not come up with a solution. So we are cautiously optimistic watching the two leaders sit down and talk again. And especially we are anxious to hear this coming Tuesday's U.S. China comprehensive economic dialogue and to see their deliverables." 

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