China and US can still cooperate as competitors, Beijing’s former top trade negotiator says



Amanda Lee | South China Morning Post

Despite growing tensions, China and the United States must find a way to cooperate because their economies are too intertwined to decouple, according to a former top Chinese trade negotiator.

“At a time when the [coronavirus] pandemic is still threatening global cooperation, I think it’s even more important to uphold and carry forward a spirit of cooperation,” Long Yongtu, head of the Chinese team that negotiated the country’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organisation, told a seminar in the eastern province of Jiangsu on Friday.

“Although the relationship between China and the US has been positioned as competitive, competitors don’t have to confront or clash with each other. Just like in a market economy, although many companies are competitors, competition doesn’t lead to exclusion or prevent finding a common interest.

“Since China and the US are already intertwined, [they] can find a place to cooperate.”

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