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July 27, 09

NEWS / U.S., China Share Goals at Strategic and Economic Dialogue

By Lauren Caldwell
Staff Writer

Washington — Washington will host hundreds of high-level Chinese officials meeting with their U.S. counterparts July 27 and July 28, marking the beginning of a new strategy for closer ties between the United States and China.

The first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue will set the stage for ongoing cooperation on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. The dialogue is expected to focus on the economy, climate change and regional security, according to five senior administration officials at a press briefing July 23, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Obama will attend the opening session of the dialogue, and later will meet with Chinese officials. The dialogue will be co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

More than 150 Chinese officials will attend the dialogue, one of the largest official delegations ever to visit the United States, a senior administration official said. This signals that the U.S. and Chinese governments realize their economic destiny is linked, and that building a strong relationship is important to economic recovery, he said.

As a sign of the United States’ and China’s commitment to shared strategic and economic goals, the dialogue will be held annually, alternating between Washington and Beijing.

“It is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship,” Clinton said when she visited China in February.


The United States and China previously participated in the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, created by President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao in 2006. The Strategic Economic Dialogue was a forum for U.S. and Chinese officials to discuss economic challenges and opportunities. The dialogue was led by the U.S. secretary of the treasury and Chinese vice premier. It was held twice yearly in alternate capitals.

President Obama and President Hu established the new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in April. It features higher-level officials than the previous dialogue, the senior administration officials said. It will also include a broader discussion on a range of political, strategic and economic issues, rather than focusing solely on economic and financial relations.

In their meeting at the Group of 20 summit in London in April, Obama and Hu promised to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship in the 21st century. They agreed to deepen cooperation on many issues, including economics and trade, counterterrorism, law enforcement, science and technology, education, culture and health.

“Good relations with the U.S. is not only in the interests of the two peoples, but also beneficial to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large,” Hu said.


Economic recovery will play a central role in the dialogue. Cooperation is important because the success of U.S. policies will depend in part on China, and the success of Chinese policies will depend in part on the United States, Geithner said when he visited China in May.

“China and the United States individually and together are so important in the global economy and financial system that what we do has a direct impact on the stability and strength of the international economic system,” he said.

Economic data trends show American families spending less and saving more, so China cannot expect to recover by increasing exports, another senior administration official said. U.S. officials will encourage China to balance their level of imports and exports and to be open to foreign investment.

Climate change and clean energy will also be a principal focus of the dialogue. The United States and China are the greatest greenhouse gas emitters in the world, so climate change cannot be reversed unless the United States and China reduce emissions, one of the senior administration officials said. U.S. and Chinese officials will discuss ways to work together to invest in clean energy and promote environmentally sustainable growth.

U.S. and Chinese officials will also discuss regional security threats, including terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

The Strategic and Economic Dialogue is the beginning of a conversation, and the two countries will see the results of the dialogue over the next few years, one of the senior administration officials said.

Tags: foreign investment, secretary of state,


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