Similarly, after French president Emmanuel Macronvisited China earlier this year, it was claimed that20bn worth of contracts had been signed. Thesefigures pale in comparison, however, with the announcement of investment and trade dealsworth $250bn between the US and China when President Donald Trump went to the People’sRepublic in November.
同样，今年早些时候法国总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙(Emmanuel Macron)访华后不久，两国据称签署了价值200亿欧元的合同。然而，与唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)去年11月访华时美中宣布签署的2500亿美元投资和贸易协议相比，这些数字就相形见绌了。
Neither the Chinese nor the UK, French and US governments informed domestic audienceswhether these agreements were definitive or merely memorandums of understanding whichhave no binding force. It is not uncommon for such non-binding agreements to be signed evenwhen one or more of the parties has no intention of carrying through on any deal.
It is likely that the $250bn figure triumphantly touted by Mr Trump is inflated, as most of thedeals were previously announced and approved before the president touched down in China.Others are merely pending transactions and therefore should not be considered new dealsnegotiated by Mr Trump. Indeed, given that the declaration of these deals is often largelypolitically driven, it is not surprising that figures are often inflated.
A major obstacle to turning diplomatic declarations into actual deals — and here the Chinesegovernment is no exception — is that commitments made at the governmental level need to betransplanted into the domestic law in order to be implemented.
For example, two days after Mr Trump ended his China visit, Beijing announced a radicalpolicy to open its financial sector to foreign companies. Limits on foreign ownership of banks,asset managers, securities firms and insurance companies will eventually be scrapped. This ispart of China’s move to open up its $40tn financial sector, as well as an attempt to counter thecharge that China does not play by the rules in global commerce.