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Sino-US talks 'help build trust'

Updated: 2013-07-11 01:08
By By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington, ZHANG YUWEI in New York and CHENG GUANGJIN in Beijing (China Daily)

Dialogue vital to achieving new type of major country ties, says vice-premier

Chinese and US officials stressed the importance of cooperation and putting aside differences as the two countries began the fifth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Wednesday.

US Vice-President Joe Biden said the dialogue is essential to bilateral relations and called for more trust to be built between the two countries.

Sino-US talks 'help build trust'

From left: State Councilor Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice-Premier Wang Yang and US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew at the opening of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington on Wednesday. Brendan Smialowski / Agence France-Presse

"We don't have to agree on everything — we have to trust," he said in his address at the opening of the event in Washington, adding that competition is good and cooperation is essential.

Biden and the dialogue's four co-chairmen, Vice-Premier Wang Yang, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, all emphasized the importance of boosting cooperation and also managing differences.

Wang said the summit between President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama a month ago reached important consensus and has pointed a clear direction for the two countries to build a new type of major relationship.

"This round of dialogue is to turn the important consensus reached by the two heads of state into concrete achievements and to inject solid content into building a new type of major country relationship," Wang said.

He said China is willing to talk and listen to different opinions and accept the correct ones, adding that much of the dialogue it has had with the US and other countries has boosted the country's progress.

But he said Beijing will not accept "those voices that shake China's fundamental system and harm its national interest".

Danny Russel, confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as the new US assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was among many senior US officials in the audience. The public schedules of senior State Department officials showed most of them are involved in the dialogue.

In an article in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Vice-Premier Wang wrote, "A bright future awaits China-US relations if we join hands and work together."

Wang did not shy away from differences, such as views on the trade imbalance, the protection of intellectual property rights, US restrictions on high-tech exports to China and Chinese investment in the US.

"The only way to resolve such disagreements is to enhance communication, deepen mutual understanding and promote mutual trust," Wang wrote.

Guan Qingyou, assistant dean of the Minsheng Securities Research Institute, said that in the article Wang raised concerns by China and the United States toward each other.

Officials from both sides held extensive talks on Monday and Tuesday on a number of issues before Wang and Yang arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Tuesday, accompanied by a large Chinese delegation.

A bilateral working group on cybersecurity met for the first time on Monday, while the third China-US Strategic Security Dialogue, chaired by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, was held on Tuesday.

This brought senior civilian and military officials from the two countries together for discussions on sensitive security issues.

On Thursday, the two sides will continue talks on strategic and economic issues, while business leaders from the two countries meet for a roundtable discussion in the morning.

Growing economic and trade ties between China and the US have long been regarded as a pillar of relations between the world's two largest economies, which are also each other's second-largest trading partner.

Two-way trade approached $500 billion last year.

China is one of the fastest-growing export markets for the US, which is also seeing increased direct investment from China.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an article by State Councilor Yang in which he described Sino-US cooperation as an anchor for world peace and stability.

"China's development poses no threat to any other country," Yang wrote, adding that the country's pursuit of development will increase mutually beneficial cooperation with the US and other countries.

Tao Wenzhao, a US studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the dialogue is the most important platform among more than 90 China-US cooperation mechanisms.

Key areas of cooperation for the two countries will be announced at a joint news conference late on Thursday afternoon. Last year, some 50 areas were on the list. This year, the list will be substantially longer, according to Chinese officials.

Zheng Yangpeng in Beijing contributed to this story.