In 2015, Sino-US economic and trade relations continue to deepen. Bilateral trade and investment maintained steady growth and the high-level economic dialogue mechanism rendered fruitful results. In terms of the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, China and the US focused on the construction of a new pattern of relationship between great powers and continuously expanded equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
Xi Jinping, Chinese President made clear a direction for Sino-US economic and trade cooperation during his successful visit to the United States. In September 2015, President Xi Jinping, successfully paid a historic visit to the United States. Two heads of China and the United States reached an important consensus with respect to the construction of a new pattern of relationship between great powers, which has pointed out the direction for the development of bilateral economic and trade relations. During the visit, the two sides reached 50 important achievements and announced a series of important measures, including 17 measures for the economic and trade field.
Bilateral trade and investment scale expanded unceasingly. According to the Chinese side, in 2015, Sino-US trade volume reached USD 558.39 billion, up 0.6% on a year-on-year basis. The United States is China’s second largest trading partner, the largest export market and the fourth largest source of imports. According to the United States, during January – November 2015, Sino-US trade volume was USD569.17 billion, a year-on-year growth of 2.4%, accounting for 16.2% of the total amount of the trade in goods of the United States, 1.2% higher than that in the same period last year. China has become America’s biggest trading partner, exceeding Canada.
Meanwhile, the two-way investment between China and the United States kept growing. By the end of 2015, the projects invested by the United States in China reached 66,000 in total, involving actual investment of USD 77.47 billion. The United States is China’s sixth largest source of foreign capital. China’s investment in the United States maintained good momentum. According to preliminary statistics, by the end of 2015, Chinese companies directly invested USD46.6 billion in the United States. The United States is China’s fourth largest overseas direct investment destination.
The 26th Sino-US trade joint commission was successfully held. As one of the earliest high-level economic dialogue mechanism established between two governments, since established in 1983, the Sino-US trade joint commission has played an irreplaceable role in expanding bilateral economic and trade cooperation and maintaining stable bilateral economic and trade relations. On November 21-23, 2015, the 26th Sino-US trade joint commission was successfully held in Guangzhou. Chinese vice premier, Wang Yang from the State Council, Pritzker, minister of commerce and the trade representative of the United States, Frohman jointly chaired the meeting. 29 ministerial and vice-ministerial officials and more than 190 representatives from both sides attended the meeting. Focusing on implementing the results of Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States in September, both sides conducted in-depth exchanges on economic and trade issues of their concern, and finally achieved a number of achievements.
During the joint committee, two sides held an entrepreneur roundtable, province/state economic and trade exchange and cooperation meeting, health care cooperative activities, agricultural and food cooperation workshops and other series of activities and strategic issues reflecting the cooperation themes, setting up a new communication platform between the governments, enterprises and academic circles of China and the United States. In addition, the two sides also signed the Framework Agreement between Chinese Government (through the MOFCOM) and the United States Government (via the Trade and Development Agency) and other cooperative documents.
The seventh round of the Sino-US strategic and economic dialogue achieved positive results. June 22-24, 2015, the seventh round of the Sino-US strategic and economic dialogue was held in Beijing successfully. President Xi Jinping’s special representatives, Vice Premier Wang Yang and the State Councilor, Yang Jiechi and the President Obama’s special representatives, the U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, and the Finance Minister, Jacob Lew, presided over the dialogue together. Both sides conducted in-depth discussion around “strengthening of strategic dialogue to enhance the level of economic cooperation between China and the United States” and finally reached 77 positive practical results in macroeconomic policies and structural reform, deepening of the trade and investment cooperation, financial stability and reform and other areas.
The economic and trade cooperation between states and cities of both sides is in the ascendant. In 2015, economic and trade cooperation between states and cities of both side continued to deepen. In August, the Ministry of Commerce, in concert with the competent authorities of Zhejiang, Hubei, Guangdong, Chongqing and Sichuan, set up a “Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation between Chinese Provinces and Michigan” with Michigan, the U.S. In September the same year, the Ministry of Commerce, in concert with the competent authorities of Liaoning, Shanghai, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan and Shaanxi, set up a “Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation between Chinese Provinces and Washington”, with Washington, the U.S. Up to now, there are six working groups, covering China’s 23 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government and six states and cities of the United States. In November, during the 26th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the US Commerce Department and the MOFCOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Sino-US Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework. The economic and trade cooperation between states and cities of both sides enjoys high attention and active promotion by bilateral governments.