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Interview: Silicon Valley hopes for early settlement of Sino-

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by Xinhua writers Xia Lin, Wu Xiaoling, Zhang Mocheng

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. companies in Silicon Valley hope the trade disputes between the United States and China can be solved soon as they would like "to have a bigger footprint in China," President and CEO of the Bay Area Council (BAC) Jim Wunderman said to Xinhua in a recent interview.

As head of the BAC, which is delegated by the high-tech behemoths in the region with their public affairs and strategy management, Wunderman reads the rules of business as knowingly as his palm lines and takes the responsibility of always seeking efficiency and avoiding traps for the powerful and pioneering digital force behind him.

"I think eventually it'll be fixed, because I don't think it's in the interest of the United States or China to have a prolonged trade war," Wunderman told Xinhua, ahead of both countries going to meet midweek in Washington to kick off the ninth round of negotiations.

"We want to see the issues, the trade issues between China and the United States, get resolved. You know, we don't have any control over that, of course, but we hope for that," he said.

The BAC currently has established four offices in China, respectively in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing, mapping out its tentacles to help Silicon Valley's giants and tech leaders to maintain contact with their Chinese counterparts and secure any potential to carry out cooperation.

"We want to stay in this (game) and we've invested a lot in it. Now. We've been in China over 10 years, with a lot of time and work put in and commitments made and friendships built. So, there's no reason to pull back from our point of view at all," said Wunderman.

Wunderman is now leading the BAC to strengthen cooperation with China's Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on a region-to-region level, mulling opening a new office there.

"China is an incredible market," added Wunderman, who has visited China many times and feels the country is "almost like a second home" with so many friends there.

However, the outcome of an escalation of U.S.-China bilateral tariffs has been vexing Wunderman, whose BAC is a "CEO-led public policy organization focused on making the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley the most globally competitive and economically productive region in the world."

A study recently released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that an escalation of U.S.-China bilateral tariffs will shave off 1 trillion U.S. dollars from the U.S. economy in a decade.

"Escalation of bilateral tariffs results in lower GDP, lower employment, lower investment, and lower trade flows for the United States," it said, noting that the high-tech sector is one of the victims to bear the brunt of the tax warfare.

"We think there's a lot of frustration of people who would like to do more business and they can't do it. Now, tariffs ... That's the problem," the BAC head said.

"There are difficult issues. I think we're a bit stuck, hoping that we see some resolution on that," he said. "As those issues get more resolved, then I think most of our companies would like to have a bigger footprint in China."

Seeing through history, Wunderman knows he should also navigate with expertise and patience.

"I think we're pretty committed to staying on for a few years. You know, we'll stay on as long as it makes sense to stay on, as long as it may be fruitful," he said.

Meanwhile, Wunderman emphasized a common interest among his U.S. clients in sustaining the relationship with China.

"After all, the economy of China and its growth are very big. And we have a strategic advantage here in the Bay Area. And we want China to think of the Bay Area in California as the most important place to invest and do business," said Wunderman.

Wunderman became the BAC president and CEO in April 2004. During his term, the BAC hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in 2011, opened its Shanghai and Hangzhou offices in China, and engaged in opening the State of California's official trade office in China, according to the BAC's official website.

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