US Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson (L) and Chinese Vice Premier
Wu Yi (R) shake hands before the beginning of the US-China Strategic
Economic Dialogue in Washington, May 22, 2007.
WASHINGTON: China and the United States should join hands to work for
balanced trade and address other economic irritants, Vice-Premier Wu Yi said
"Problems and contradictions emerging in the development of China-US trade
and economic relations should be handled properly," she told the opening
ceremony of the second round of the high-level US-China Strategic Economic
"We must seek measures to address the problems at home first rather than
blaming or pressuring the other side, which is of no help at all and will make
the situation more complicated."
In what appeared to be a clear message to US legislators threatening to slap
penalty tariffs on Chinese imports unless the yuan were revalued substantially,
she said: "Politicizing trade and economic issues is absolutely unacceptable".
willing to take effective measures together with the US side to address
bilateral trade imbalances," Wu said, adding these measures include increasing
imports from the United States by China and raising US exports to China.
She also suggested the United States enlarge exports of civilian high-tech
products and technologies to narrow the trade gap.
Echoing Wu, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the two sides must
"maintain a partnership, and engage in this process to solve what may seem
He said: "We both face challenges of domestic protectionism and questions
about the merits of trade and globalization. There is a growing skepticism in
each country about the other's intentions The purpose of this on-going dialogue
is to have candid discussions and find ways to ease, rather than increase, these
Wu and Paulson lead delegations each comprising of more than a dozen
ministers in charge of trade, environmental protection, energy, innovation and
They will discuss a wide range of sticking points in the two-day meeting.
They include rebalancing bilateral trade, opening services markets (financial
and non-financial) to each other, facilitating investment and clean-energy
A dialogue mechanism jointly initiated by President Hu Jintao and his US
counterpart George W. Bush, the SED serves as an overreaching framework for
productive economic dialogue and economic relations.
The opening round was held in Beijing last December.
Members of the Chinese delegation will also meet US lawmakers, some of whom
threaten retaliatory legislation unless China agrees to bigger, faster steps to
address trade and currency imbalances. Wu is also scheduled to meet Bush
China's central bank announced last Friday that it widened the band in which
the yuan trades against the dollar to 0.5 percent, up from 0.3 percent. Beijing
has also announced measures to reduce its trade surplus, such as reducing tax
rebates and levying export taxes on more categories of polluting or
In another development, a Chinese purchasing delegation headed by
Vice-Commerce Minister Ma Xiuhong is close to ending its mission in the United
States with procurement volume "far exceeding expectations".
Ma said the final figure is expected to exceed $20 billion, which shows not
only China's efforts to boost imports from the United States but also the
potential for increasing such imports. The delegation, which arrived in the
United States earlier this month, agreed to buy US machines, soybeans and