While Mainland China and the United States remain caught in a tug-of-war over trade tariffs, the rest of the world hopes to see relations return to normal as soon as possible. Despite the trade deficit, economic and trade cooperation between the U.S. and China can bring about mutual benefits by utilizing resources more efficiently.
As such, the indirect benefits brought by free trade to the U.S. should not be ignored. With free trade as a common value treasured by both sides, economic cooperation between the two countries must be “depoliticized” and refocused on the tremendous opportunities ahead.
Since its reform and opening up, Mainland China has developed in leaps and bounds. Its achievements in innovation and technology (I&T) are obvious to all: Shenzhen, known as China’s Silicon Valley, has become one of the most important I&T hubs in the Mainland and even the world, with an average annual GDP growth rate of almost 10% since 2010. This reflects China’s hopes to improve people’s livelihoods through education, international trade, technology and infrastructure, and with a view to narrowing the gap with developed countries.
Free trade is a key factor in promoting modern economic development. Trade barriers, in contrast, will cause chaos in the Chinese and U.S. markets and reduce consumer choice. Both sides may even have to resort to retaliatory measures, which will affect other goods. In the end, it is the people of the two countries who will suffer.
On the other hand, with reform and opening up entering a new stage, Hong Kong needs to leverage its unique advantages in line with current developments. For instance, with the launch of the Belt and Road and the Greater Bay Area initiatives by the Central Government in recent years, Hong Kong should actively grasp these significant opportunities by giving play to our strengths to help fulfill the country’s needs. This mean we can continue to contribute to reform and opening up, and lift “one country, two systems” to a new level.
Your altitude determines your vision. The higher we stand, the farther we see. China and the U.S. are the world's leading economies in terms of comprehensive national strength and global influence. Therefore, seizing opportunities for dialogue to seek common ground will better serve the global interest than being trapped in a state of see-sawing and confrontation.
As China shifts the positioning of its economy, and people’s livelihoods evolve accordingly, national plans will be increasingly forward-looking in future. In view of this, Hong Kong should keep abreast of the times to avoid losing ground amid rapid economic development.