by Liu Liwei, Bruce Westbrook
HOUSTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. experts are recommending "sustainable cooperation" between the United States and China instead of a trade war as their relations are interdependent.
Jon Taylor, a political science professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, said both nations need to understand that they are interdependent.
"It's better to have economic cooperation than to engage in a trade war where both sides lose, where American workers lose their jobs, where it impacts China's economy, and the world is worse for it," he said.
The comments came after the U.S. Commerce Department last week launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty investigations into Chinese aluminum products.
In reaction, China's Ministry of Commerce issued a statement, saying, "China is strongly discontent with the trade protectionism tendency shown in the U.S. move."
John Hofmeister, a member of the U.S. Energy Security Council and former CEO of Shell Oil Company, told Xinhua that cooperation between the United States and China is "win-win-win: it's win for China, win for the United States, and win for U.S. companies and people."
Both have no other choice but to cooperate today and into the future due to the sizes and scales of their economies.
"I think (U.S. President Donald) Trump recognizes that the U.S. and China relationship require interdependency," he said.
PUTTING ENERGY INTO PARTNERSHIP
Energy is a vital field where the interdependency could have long life and mutual benefit.
Taylor said the energy agreements Trump made in China in November can play a key role in improving economic relations between the United States and China.
During the visit, companies from both sides signed dozens of deals valued over 250 billion U.S. dollars. Half of them are from the field of energy.
Taylor cited two major deals. One is China Energy Investment Corporation's plan to invest 83.7 billion U.S. dollars over 20 years in shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia.
The other is a 43-billion-dollar deal to develop liquefied natural gas in Alaska, involving China's top state oil firm Sinopec, Bank of China, China Investment Corp. and Alaska Gasline Development Corp.
The Alaska project marks the first major investment by a Chinese energy firm in the United States.
"You've also got Texas firms that are involved with oil exploration and with oil field equipment," Taylor said. "There's a lot to offer with cooperative win-win agreements between China and the United States on energy."
Apart from oil, Taylor said U.S. companies can serve China's rising demands for natural gas as China decreases its reliance on coal-fired power.
COOPERATING WHILE COMPETING
However, the new energy deals won't necessarily smooth out the rocky road of the trade relationship between the world's two biggest economies.
"That starts with trust -- or dispelling distrust," Taylor said.
The U.S. trade deficit with China remains a sensitive issue. Taylor said it is more apt to consider what U.S. goods and services people want and need rather than discuss a possible trade war. x The most popular cars in China, for example, include the Buick, American giant General Motors' brand. "That's the sort of thing Americans need to understand, that there are a whole host of areas where we can have economic cooperation," he said.
China recently announced that foreign firms would be allowed to hold a majority stake in joint ventures with Chinese securities companies and life insurance joint ventures, and caps on foreign banks' stakes in Chinese banks and asset managers would be removed.
It means China is encouraging investment, he pointed out.
Chinese and Americans should find ways to work together and compete with each other, Hofmeister stressed.
"Because in America, competitors aren't necessarily enemies. Competitors are also partners. Competitors are also customers. So you don't just fight to compete, you also cooperate..."