Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Focus

US and EU face 'common' China challenge, says US official

  • Beijing. China 'has moved away from the liberalisation path that had been a strong theme in earlier years,' US official Malpass said (Photo: Jens Schott Knudsen)

China's economic and trade policies are a "common challenge" for the EU and the US, a top US official said in Brussels.

David Malpass, the US Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, said that China "has moved away from the liberalisation path that had been a strong theme in earlier years".


He noted that China "is putting emphasis on state-owned enterprises, on the involvement of the Communist party into the business sectors" and that "heavy subsidies distort the allocation of capital."

He added that Chinese authorities were "very aggressive" in the use of credit agencies as well as regarding intellectual property. "They need to stop their practice of forcing business that involves the transfer of the property to China, or the lack of protection for intellectual property as its used within companies," he added.

Malpass, who spoke to a group of journalists between meetings with EU officials, noted that accelerating world growth gave the EU and the US "an opportunity to work together on challenges."

"China is certainly one which presents a common challenge for the US and Europe in terms of its investment practices, its trade practices and its own moving away from market liberalisation," he said.

He insisted that the US was looking "free, fair and reciprocal" trade relationships but that "with China, one of the problems is there is not reciprocity."

The US official also noted the US and "other countries have a common interest in more transparency from China and that extends into steel."

Malpass made his comments three weeks after Donald Trump's administration published its National Security Strategy in which China was described, with Russia, as a "revisionist" power threatening US supremacy.

In the strategy's chapter on Europe, the Trump administration said that it would work with the EU "to contest China's unfair trade and economic practices and restrict its acquisition of sensitive technologies."

Last year, the EU launched plans to screen Chinese investment in strategic sectors and introduced new rules on dumping that angered Beijing.

Malpass's comments also come on the heels of a visit to China by French president Emmanuel Macron, where he stressed the need for more reciprocity in EU-China economic and trade relationships.

Malpass, who was one of Trump's economic advisers during his presidential campaign, however stressed "the limits of multilateralism."

He said that "in some areas, we have gone too far" and that "too much multilateralism impedes the growth process."

"We'd like too see more modesty in the international organisations as far as what they can accomplish versus what really comes out of the people of the various countries operating on their own for their own advancement," he said.



He added that the US wanted "less expensiveness in terms of [international organisations'] demands on taxpayers around the world."

The US official defended Trump's decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

 He said that it would have been "wishful thinking" to expect the trade deal, which did not include China, "would have pulled China more into the world trade system."

"The world has tried to give China opportunity to be a market-based economy, but it is not moving in that direction now," he said.

Hungary-Serbia railway launched at China summit

The flagship project of China's increased presence in central and eastern Europe was launched on Tuesday, following an EU probe as a summit in Budapest raises questions on Beijing's influence.

Analysis

Macron's Chinese 'game of influence'

On his recent visit to China, the French president tried to take advantage of Beijing's 'divide and rule' EU approach and become the country's main interlocutor with Europe - while also calling for more EU coordination.

Supported by

News in Brief

  1. Austria plans to sue Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant
  2. Puigdemont proposed as sole candidate for Catalan leadership
  3. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  4. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time
  5. CSU politicians set to oppose concessions to SPD
  6. Greek mass protests against use of 'Macedonia' in name dispute
  7. Oxfam report reveals inequality as Davos elite gather
  8. Macron: France would probably have voted to quit EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  2. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  3. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  4. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  5. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  6. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  7. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  8. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names