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The First Round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue Concludes (07/30/09)

On July 28, 2009, the first round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED) concluded in Washington. Special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, special representative of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Franz Geithner co-chaired the two-day event.

President Hu sent a congratulation message to the opening ceremony, and President Obama attended the opening personally and met with the Chinese delegation. During the dialogue, both sides exchanged in-depth views on the strategic and long-term issues with overall importance to the development of bilateral relations. they agreed that the dialogue mechanism, as a unique forum, helps the two sides deepen understanding, expand consensus, reduce differences, increase mutual trust, strengthen cooperation and facilitates the bilateral partnership in addressing such common challenges as the global financial crisis, regional security concerns, sustainable development worldwide and climate change. The mechanism is a result of the development of China-US relations over the past 3 decades and demonstrates the commitment of both countries to building the positive, cooperative and comprehensive relations in the 21st century. The first round of SAED has achieved fruitful outcomes and paved the way for future bilateral cooperation.

I. China-US Relations

During the two days of high-level dialogue, the two sides praised the development of bilateral ties. They believe the bilateral relations have maintained a strong and active momentum of development. In particular, President Hu's meeting with President Obama in London April this year set the direction for the bilateral relations in the new historical period and effectively promoted the mutually beneficial cooperation. They also recognized that the dialogue outlined an important framework for strengthening the bilateral relations on the basis of the April meeting.

The two countries noticed that the international financial market still faces challenges and they shoulder heavier common responsibilities and share extensive interest and wider cooperation foundation as the world situation is experiencing complicated and profound changes. To further enhance China-US cooperation not only serves the interest of the people of both countries but also facilitates peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and Pacific and the world at large.

They stressed that close high-level contacts and exchanges play an indispensable part in promoting China-US relations. They confirmed that President Obama, with the invitation of President Hu, will visit China within this year. Joint efforts will be made to prepare for the bilateral exchanges at various levels in the next stage.

They recognized the improvement of military relations recently and agreed to expand the bilateral military exchanges at all levels. They spoke highly of the national defense consultations held in Beijing by the defense authorities of China and the US not long ago. They noticed that Vice Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission General Xu Caihou, at the invitation of US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, will visit the US before the end of this year.

They expressed willingness of encouraging the humanities exchange and cooperation between China and the US in order to strengthen mutual understanding, including the friendship volunteer program. On July 10, the US reconfirmed participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, saying it will build a National Pavilion, to which China expressed welcome. The US side also introduced its new policy which is being formulated and aims at accelerating the visa procedure of Chinese citizens going to the US and expressed willingness of keeping close communications on that issue. The Chinese side reiterated hope that the US government would further facilitate the visa process of Chinese citizens. The two sides agreed to broaden exchanges of education, sports, science and technology and continue to hold the China-US cultural forum. They are committed to fulfilling the goals defined in the China-US Work Plan signed recently by the educational authorities of both countries.

Furthermore, they also exchanged views on how to conduct human rights dialogue and other initiatives on the basis of equality and mutual respect and reinforce mutual understanding and active cooperation on human rights related issues. In view of the importance of legal system to both China and the US, they decided to resume the legal experts' dialogue and try to hold the next round of human rights dialogue by the end of this year.

II. China-US cooperation in the economic, financial and other related areas

The economic dialogue under the framework of the first round of China-US SAED has helped improve mutual communications and deepen mutual understanding and trust.

The two sides realized the significance of strengthening cooperation on economic and financial issues to the healthy development of world economy, reiterated their commitment to the high-level dialogue and reached key consensus.

First, China and the US will adopt measures respectively to promote the balanced and sustainable growth of the domestic economy so as to build the capacity of recovering from the international financial crisis. Such measures include increasing the savings deposits in the US and raising the contribution of consumption to the growth of the Chinese economy.

Second, joint efforts will be made to build a powerful financial system and improve financial regulation.

Third, both sides are committed to opener trade and investment and oppose protectionism in order to stimulate economic development, create more jobs and encourage innovation.

Fourth, they agreed to cooperate in reforming the international financial institutions, increasing the voice and representativeness of the emerging markets and developing economies including China, guaranteeing adequate development financing and tackling future crisis.

Following the end of the economic dialogue, the two sides issued the note of joint results.

III. China-US cooperation on global issues

As the largest energy producer and the biggest energy consumer in the world, China and the US face common challenges and share identical interests in addressing the global climate change, developing clean and efficient energy, protecting the environment and ensuring energy security. They promised to take active domestic actions to cope with such challenges and realized the great importance of bilateral cooperation to handling the challenges. To that end, they worked out a memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation to tackle issues related with climate change, energy and environment through negotiations which were led by the US State Department and the Department of Energy and the National Development and Reform Commission of China respectively.

According to the memorandum, the two sides will establish the dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change policy in order to promote (i) discussions and exchanges on their domestic policies and strategies concerning climate change; (ii) pragmatic solutions of transition to the low carbon economy; (iii) successful international negotiations on climate change; (iv) joint research, development, applications and agreed transfer of climate friendly technologies; (v) cooperation on specific projects; (vi) adaption to climate change; (vii) capacity building and public awareness; (viii) pragmatic cooperation on climate change between cities, universities, provinces and states of China and the US.

Based on equality, common but differentiated responsibilities and their own capacity, China and the US recognized their important role in the fight against climate change. They reiterated commitment to strengthening the comprehensive, effective and sustainable implementation of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and working for the success of the Copenhagen Conference to be held at the end of this year.

In addition, the memorandum proposed to expand and strengthen the bilateral cooperation on clean and efficient energy and environmental protection in order to realize environmental sustainability and growth of low-carbon economy and achieve the national economic and development goals respectively. The two countries determined to cooperate in relevant fields where their joint expertise, resources and research ability as well as the scale of their markets combined together can all accelerate the realization of common goals. They recognized the importance of the 10-Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework being implemented to push forward the bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the fields of energy and environment. They pledged to implement all the five existing action plans under the framework, including clean and efficient power, clean and efficient transport, clean water, clean air and forest and wet land protection and to expand the framework by formulating new action plans on energy saving and efficiency. They also recognized the importance of the green partnership plan under the framework and promised to strengthen plan implementation.

They decided to continue the pragmatic cooperation through the oil and gas forum, the energy policy dialogue and the newly built China-US clean energy research center and to hold relevant meeting within this year. They consented to reinforce cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, clean coal (including carbon capture and sequestration), smart grid, shale gas, second and third generations of fossil fuel and advanced nuclear energy. They agreed to carry out dialogue on strategic oil reserve, greater transparency of energy market and other related issues. The Chinese side invited representatives of the US political, media and academic communities to visit the clean energy facilities in China, and the US confirmed receiving the invitation.

They expressed willingness of continuing the cooperation on the outbreak of major epidemic and infectious diseases including drug-resistant tuberculosis. They also agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on other critical global issues, including improving the global institutional governance, addressing public health challenges and global poverty alleviation with the purpose of enhancing mankind's welfare and promoting sustainable development worldwide.

IV. China-US cooperation on the international and regional issues

The two sides discussed the common international challenges. They determined to keep close communications and coordination and make concerted efforts with the international community to solve conflicts and ease those tense factors triggering regional and global instability. They noticed that the traditional and non-traditional security threats interweave with each other and it requires joint actions to handle the situations in Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. They reaffirmed the importance of the six-party talks, the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and the peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and stressed the necessity of implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1874 and settling the nuclear issue on the Peninsula through peaceful means. They agreed to work harder to reach the above-mentioned goals. They also promised to strengthen coordination and jointly promote peace and development in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They reached the consensus that their senior officials responsible for the Iranian and the Middle East affairs should keep close consultations. They expressed will of enhancing coordination and consultations on the Sudanese issue, working together to push for the early and long-lasting political settlement of the Darfur issue and pushing forward the North-South peace process of Sudan.

They pointed out that both of them oppose terrorism and pledged to take joint actions to strengthen the global non-proliferation and arms control mechanism. They reiterated their nuclear policy respectively and discussed the upcoming Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and Conference on Disarmament in 2010. In addition, they also exchanged views on the global nuclear security summit initiated by the US. They reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the current dialogue mechanism on security, arms control and non-proliferation. They would reinforce dialogue and cooperation to fight against such global challenges as cross-border crime, terrorism, illicit drug trade and pirates.

They agreed to step up consultations on policy planning and the Asian, the Middle East, African, Central Asian and Latin American affairs under the framework of strategic dialogue and expand and deepen cooperation on the issues of common concern.

V. China-US SAED mechanism

Both sides agreed that the China-US SAED, together with other existing bilateral mechanisms, will advance the development of bilateral relations. The mechanism is a major measure of pushing forward the bilateral relations in the new historical period and platform for both sides to strengthen understanding, mutual trust and cooperation. To seek solutions to the common challenges in a wide range of areas comprehensively, the Chinese and the US delegations expect to further discuss the specific issues raised during the dialogue through the special representatives of the two heads of state, the working groups and the existing bilateral dialogue mechanism.

They especially pointed out that the first round of China-US SAED will pave the way for the visit of President Obama to China within this year.

They agreed to hold the second round of SAED in Beijing next year.

 

 


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