Author of The World is Flat Thomas Friedman returns to CCG to speak about China-US trade talks

On September 5, 2019, Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of The World is Flat, and Keith Bradsher, Shanghai bureau chief for the New York Times, visited the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and had an in-depth conversation with CCG staff regarding the 13th China-US High-level Economic and Trade Consultations which will be held in Washington DC in October.

In terms of Sino-US economic and trade negotiations, Friedman said that the US is dissatisfied with China’s intellectual property protection, market access restrictions, 5G network and other technological developments, and trade deficits. He believed that there is actually room for negotiation on these aspects. Take intellectual property protection as an example, America hopes to see more efforts to be made by China, and China is also moving forwards in this direction in recent years. Friedman believed that President Trump is the main reason for the deadlock.

He said that President Trump’s tough attitude and populist claims have made it difficult for him to compromise, thereby failing to create a “win-win” situation. Friedman concluded that achieving a US-China trade agreement requires more patience.

CCG President Dr. Wang Huiyao said that Sino-US trade frictions have been going on for more than a year since the major escalation, and there have been 12 rounds of trade negotiations between China and the US, during which the attitude of the US changed many times. President Trump has repeatedly announced the imposition of tariffs on Chinese exports to the US abruptly at the critical moments before reaching agreement.

Wang said that Trump’s capricious action not only has an impact on China, but also is not conducive to the steady development of the world economy, especially for international multilateral cooperation. He believed that in the current situation where anti-globalization trend emerges and multilateral cooperation is held back, more and more countries have considered regional integration as an effective means of resisting trade protectionism.

Friedman set off a wave of globalization studies with his book The World is Flat in 2005. In 2017, Friedman visited CCG for the first time and delivered a speech at the Beijing headquarters.



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