|Chinese premier meets U.S. cabinet chiefs on trade, energy (07/16/09)|
BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday met with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Trade Secretary Gary Locke to highlight the importance of collaboration on trade and energy.
"As a crucial part of China-U.S. relations, our trade and energy cooperation is important for both countries' economic growth and sustainable development," Wen said in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
Wen was the highest-ranking Chinese official to meet with Chu and Locke, both ethnic Chinese, who are making their first visits to China since becoming cabinet members of the Obama administration.
During their 50-minute meeting at the Zhongnanhai leaders' compound in downtown Beijing, Wen underscored bilateral effective collaboration in addressing the global economic downturn, climate change, counter terrorism and anti-proliferation thanks to the frequent exchanges.
"These efforts boosted China-U.S. ties and cemented international cooperation," Wen said.
With the China-U.S. Economic and Strategic Dialogue in Washington on July 27 and 28, Wen urged both sides to make the most of the opportunity.
"In a spirit of openness, innovation and mutual benefit, both should respect each other and consult equally to bolster cooperation and benefit both nations as well as the international community," Wen said.
The new dialogue mechanism came out of the first meeting between President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama in April in London.
Its strategic track will be chaired by Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while its economic track will be chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as special representatives of their respective presidents.
Chu and Locke told Wen that they expected the first dialogue to yield positive results. They also pledged to seek stronger U.S-China cooperation in trade, energy and climate change.
With a mission to advance U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, Chu and Locke arrived in Beijing Tuesday.
On Thursday morning, they went to suburban Beijing to visit a energy-efficient U.S. Future House in a demonstration park funded by Chinese government and foreign embassies.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met separately with Chu while Vice Premier Wang Qishan met with Locke.
The Li-Chu talks focused on energy issues, with Li introducing China's efforts to optimize energy structure and develop renewable energy, which Chu said he highly appreciated.
Li also briefed Chu on the recent riots in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, which left at least 192 people dead and more than 1,680 injured.
In the meeting between Wang and Locke, they underscored the importance of China-U.S. ties and pledged to work more closely and effectively.
During their stay in Beijing, Chu and Locke also had a flurry of meetings with leading officials of trade, energy, economy planning, and science and technology.
They also witnessed the establishment of a China-U.S. joint clean energy research center, with both committing initial financing of 15 million U.S. dollars.
The center will help "share the understanding of how to make more efficient buildings, how to make more efficient cars and how to capture carbon dioxide," Chu told a press conference later Thursday.
Chu said both countries recognized that fighting climate change is a long journey. "Now it is just beginning of the long journey."