WASHINGTON: China and the US reached agreement on the need to work toward more balanced global growth once the economic crisis has ended, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.
China and US concluded talks aimed at narrowing differences on a wide range of economic and foreign policy issues.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (L) shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan as he arrives at the Economic Track Opening Session of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Treasury Department in Washington July 28, 2009. [Agencies]
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on climate change and clean energy cooperatoin and issued a joint work plan to set the agenda for coordination between the two nations over the next several years
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan voiced support for a key US goal that China shift to more domestic-led growth rather than rely on exports that drive up the US trade deficit.
"China will focus on boosting domestic demand and in particular consumer demand," Wang said.
China had implemented measures to stimulate domestic consumption and reduce dependence on exports even before the financial crisis hit last year.
Wang said the US should treat Chinese enterprises investing in the US "equally" and ensure the security of Chinese assets in the US.
He urged the US to relax its limit on high-tech exports to China.
He also said the two sides should abide by WTO rules and shun trade protectionism.
Geithner was accompanied during the talks by National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, while the Chinese team included Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the People's Bank of China.
"We can build upon our joint response to the global financial crisis by continuing to provide constructive leadership and support for the institutions underpinning global financial stability," Geithner said.
Geithner said the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China provided a platform for narrowing differences and reinforcing common interests between the two countries.
"We are laying a stable foundation for cooperation on our long-term objectives," he said.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was leading a separate set of discussions on foreign policy concerns.
Officials of both China and the US were striking a conciliatory tone, but that did not stop officials of both countries from posing pointed questions during closed-door discussions.
China, worried about its huge investments in the US, quizzed US officials about America's soaring budget deficits, while the Obama administration pressed China on the need to rebalance its economy to focus more on domestic-led growth rather than relying on exports to the US.