Khmer Times/Ven Rathavong Tuesday, 21 March 2017 718 views

PM plays down fears of US protectionism

PRIME MINISTER Hun Sen has argued that United States President Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric is unlikely to become a reality.  
 

Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony for the Fifth China Round Table on WTO Accessions in Siem Reap province, Mr. Hun Sen argued it would be too difficult to stop US citizens from using imported products, such as cars from Japan or Germany.  
 

“I do not believe that his protectionism policies will be achieved,” he said. “The world is open and interconnected and we all need each other.”
 

The prime minister added he did not believe scaremongers who suggest the US and China could end up in a military conflict if relations deteriorated.
 

“I do not believe China and the US will end up fighting each other. Both countries have too many benefits to offer one another,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
 

“Asean and its members would not stand by and allow that to happen. We would step in and mediate between the sides.”
 

The premier said good relationships between Asean, China and the US are vital, since China’s biggest trading partner is the US,
 while Asean’s is China.

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday welcomed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing, where the pair pledged to develop cooperation between the two countries.
 

Mr. Xi said he had communicated with Mr. Trump through telephone calls and messages and that both sides had agreed to work together as cooperative partners.
 

According to Xinhua News, Mr. Tillerson told Mr. Xi the US is ready to work more closely with China based on mutual respect, win-win cooperation and avoidance of conflict.

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