China, US face common challenges, opportunities

Updated: 2011-05-10 07:31
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WASHINGTON - Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Monday that China and the United States "face both common challenges and opportunities of cooperation."

Wang made the remarks at the opening session of the third round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).

"At present, we still face many uncertainties when we are striving to tackle global economic recession and sustain economic recovery," said Wang.

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"Against such a backdrop, economic and social development in China and the United States face both common challenges and opportunities of cooperation," he said.

Despite complementarities and clashes in their respective policies to ensure economic recovery, Wang noted that China and the United States "have far more shared interests and cooperation than differences and competition."p   Referring to the S&ED mechanism as an "overarching framework for long-term and strategic issues," he called on the two nations to take solid steps to advance the sound development of bilateral economic relations.

China and the United States should strengthen cooperation to boost global economic structure reform, Wang said.

Also at the session was Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who voiced his confidence that both sides will blaze a trail for relations between two major countries that feature mutual respect, harmonious coexistence and win-win cooperation.

The China-US relationship is at an extremely important point in history, said Dai, adding that leaders of the two countries decided in January to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, charting a clear course for the future of China-US relations.

The state councilor also welcomed more American friends to visit China and learn first-hand the enormous progress China has made in various fronts, including in human rights.

US Vice President Joe Biden said at the opening session that China's rising is a positive development not only for China but also for America and the world at large.

"We seek to cooperate to advance our mutual interests not only on economic growth that is strong, stable and balanced and trade that is free and fair, we seek cooperation to advance our mutual interests and a future that will come from an energy supply that is clean and secure," Biden said.

"We are bound by much more than commerce. Over the last few decades our people have become increasingly linked through education, through work," he said.

He said the relationship between China and the US, and how the two countries manage it will shape the 21st century.

"It's a simple fact that when the United States and China are not at the table, the solutions...are less possible than when we are at the table," he said.

Echoing Biden's remarks, US Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner said both nations' ability to work together is crucial to "the overall health and stability of the global economy."

The first round of China-US S&ED was held in Washington in July in 2009, while the second round was held in Beijing in May 2010.

When the first round of China-US S&ED was launched, the world economy was in the grip of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, said Geithner.

"Today, thanks in no small part to the actions of the United States and China, we have put out the worst of the financial fires and the world economy is growing again," he said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for her part, said her country does not see China's growth as a threat and wants to seek greater trust to work together with China on global issues.

"This is a chance to expand the areas where we cooperate and to narrow areas where we diverge," she said.

"Through these meetings, we seek to build a stronger foundation for mutual trust and respect," Clinton said.

She said both sides have much to gain from cooperation than conflict.

The two-day high level dialogue was upgraded from the former Strategic Dialogue and Strategic Economic Dialogue mechanisms, which were initiated in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Both sides are expected to exchange opinions on overall, strategic and long-standing issues in the development of China-US relations, as well as international and regional issues of common concern, in order to enhance understanding, strengthen mutual trust and step up cooperation.