Chinese Vice Premier Bo Yibo, addressing the first U.S.-China Joint Economic Committee meeting yesterday, said that despite problems the two countries might have, he is pleased with the Carter administration's enthusiasm toward the People's Republic of China, particularly following the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan last December.
Bo, speaking through an interpreter, said that "there are still some problems, and some of them are difficult ones," but that overall he is pleased with progrss the two countries have made in forging political, economic and cultural ties.
American and Chinese officials will discuss economic issues such as Export-Import Bank financing for China, the availability of Overseas Private Investment Corp. progams for the Chinese, getting more American firms in on buisness arrangements and major projects in China, certain development assistance the Chinese may request, U.S. trade laws and possible exemption of U.S. companies from China's new income tax.
The economic committee was established in January 1979 by President Carter and Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping.
"We feel satisfied with the progress we have achieved in the more than a year" since official diplomatic relations began, Bo said.
The vice premier didn't elaborate on what problems he sees, but sources said one sore spot could be textiles.
The Chinese want to increase textile shipments to the United States, but the U.S. textile industry wants them cut back. However, the United States and China are scheduled to sign at the White House today an agreement that sets limits on the number of textile shipments from China to the United States. Pacts concerning civil aviation, maritime relations and consular offices also are scheduled to be signed today.
In addition, the Chinese are said to want more favorable Ex-Im Bank financing terms, closer to those offered by similar agencies of other countries. However, American officials have rejected that notion, sources said.
Since normalization began, both countries have agreed to a trade agreement which extends most-favored-nation status to the Chinese, a Chinese trade exhibition opened in San Francisco this month, scientific and technology agreements in more than 16 fields have been signed, and tourism has picked up, said Treasury Secretary G. William Miller.