U.S.-China Economic Relations: Present and Future

By Richard H. Holton; Wang Xi et al. | Go to book overview

9. Issues in Sino-U.S. Trade: A Chinese Perspective

WANG Xl and CHEN YAWEN*

Since the historical dialogue between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the United States in 1972, Sino-U.S. trade, growing out of nothing, has rapidly developed. In 1987 the total volume of Sino-U.S. trade reached US$7.8 billion).1 The United States has become one of China's major trading partners. With Sino-U.S. trade growing steadily, one is optimistic about its future development. However, from the start, certain unfavorable elements in Sino-U.S. trade relations have proved to be obstacles to the continuous expansion of trade between the two countries.

This chapter consists of three parts. The first briefly reviews two-way trade before and after the thawing of Sino-U.S. relations. The second part analyzes the existing issues, focusing on the Chinese perspective. The third part discusses means of solving the major problems and examines the outlook for Sino-U.S. trade relations.


The Development of Sino-U.S. Trade and Its Current Situation

After the PRC was established, trade between China and the United States continued for several years. The U.S. imports from mainland China were US$106 million in 1949 and $146 million in 1950, surpassing U.S. imports from West Germany, France, or Japan in those years,2 The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 led to a sharp decline in two-way trade. By 1954 Sino-U.S. trade relations had been suspended completely.

In 1972 leaders of both countries held the historic dialogue, bilateral relations were resumed, and in 1979 Sino-U.S. diplomatic relations were reestablished, opening a new era in their trade relations.

____________________
*
We are indebted to Ms. Liu Xialian, a doctoral candidate at Fudan University, who collected materials for this paper.
1
International Business, January 23, 1987, p. 1.
2
U.S. Bureau of the Census, "The Statistical History of the United States: Colonial Times" to 1970 ( New York, 1976), p. 905.

-152-

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