Senior Chinese official arrives in US as Washington ponders trade action


Senior Chinese official arrives in US as Washington ponders trade action

One of China’s senior economic officials arrives in Washington this week. Politburo member Liu He hopes to defuse growing trade tensions.

He’ll arrive as President Trump is considering a variety of trade measures against China, including tariffs on aluminum and steel.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

Liu He’s trip to Washington comes just weeks after China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi was in the city meeting with the U.S. President and his advisers.

Just after that visit, the U.S. Commerce department recommended action against imports of steel and aluminum. President Trump is now weighing that recommendation.

The Trump White House is also considering other measures, including a reciprocal tax on countries that impose higher tariffs on U.S. goods than the U.S. does on theirs.

The U.S. is also considering action on technology transfers and the protection of intellectual property. 

Washington has already imposed tariffs on imports of solar panels and cells, and washing machines, and has la China a “strategic rival” in a review of national security policy.

China has called on the U.S. to abandon what Beijing calls “Cold War thinking” and has hinted that if the U.S. imposes more trade restrictions China could source products it currently buys from the U.S. from other countries.

Liu He is the Director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs and Vice Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission–key bodies dealing with China’s economic policy.

He represented China at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos where he said China’s reform measures this year could, “exceed the international community’s expectations.”

Liu He’s visit comes as China is preparing for its annual legislative session. Government reforms and appointments will be debated and adopted–many of them related to economic changes, so this visit comes at a key time.