US and the New Silk Road: China Economic Institution and US Chamber of Commerce Commit to Belt and Road Cooperation

June 24, 2017

The China Center for International Economic Exchanges and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the "9th U.S.-China CEO and Former Senior Officials Dialogue" from June 20 to 21 in Beijing, issuing a Joint Statement powerfully committing U.S. and Chinese business cooperation in a "win-win" policy as part of the New Silk Road.

The Joint Statement notes that the Xi-Trump Summit in April, and the 100-Day Plan they initiated, "should help to steer bilateral relations towards more constructive and sustainable development."

It continues: "The participants in the Dialogue stressed that given the complementarity across many aspects of the two economies, trade and economic relations remain the anchor of China-U.S. relations, and are of special importance for the stability, growth and prosperity of the world economy. They believe that trade and investment are not `zero-sum' games. Implementation of protectionist measures or those aimed at providing advantages to domestic companies over their foreign competitors risks sparking a downward spiral in bilateral economic relations with severe damage to growth and jobs, which could spread to infect the global economy."

Under the subhead: "Strengthening Investment Cooperation under the Framework of Belt and Road Initiative and Through Other Means," the Statement reads: "China's Belt and Road (B&R) initiative,which has spurred investment in infrastructure building, will considerably broaden the space for Chinese and U.S. investment, and open many opportunities for Chinese and U.S. companies to cooperate in third countries.... In certain areas, U.S. companies can offer the world's best technology and management capability, thereby helping to ensure smooth and efficient completion of B&R projects.

"Infrastructure building in the U.S. will generate an enormous need for investment, and the new U.S. Administration has indicated that this is a major priority. China has strong capabilities and cost advantages in infrastructure building,including the building of urban roads, expressways, flyovers, high-speed rail and ports. Chinese companies and financial institutions are ready to contribute to this effort through financing and provision of goods and services. Chinese investment in certain areas of U.S. infrastructure development has the potential to help to strengthen business relations between the two sides, and, in some cases, speed up completion of the needed projects at lower cost and with greater efficiency.

"Both sides agreed that the two countries can engage in full cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative and through a number of other means, including the AIIB, World Bank and other multilateral investment and financing institutions."

They further pledged to hold a conference on the Belt and Road within the next 12 months, either in China or the U.S., "which will allow the Chinese side to brief the U.S. side on the B&R plans, including initiative content, current progress and projects that might be appropriate for U.S. company participation, including in partnership with Chinese companies. The U.S. side will brief the Chinese side on the latest infrastructure developments in the United States and share reflections on pathways for Chinese companies to participate in U.S. infrastructure revitalization initiatives."