China and the United States reaffirmed their commitment on Friday to
promoting strong and balanced economic development and prosperity by pursing
Beijing's exchange rate regime reform and increasing Washington's national
The two sides also agreed to let the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ open
offices in China while Washington will support China's membership in the
Inter-American Development Bank. No timetable has been mentioned yet.
The agreements were announced at the end of the one-and-half-day high-level
Sino-US economic strategic dialogue, co-chaired by Vice-Premier Wu Yi and US
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson. It focused on overarching and long-term
strategic economic issues.
Through the discussions, the two sides decided to prioritize work during the
next six months in areas including service sectors, health care, energy and the
The two governments also pledged to explore the possibility of a bilateral
investment agreement and easing of travel restrictions.
Both sides concluded an agreement facilitating financing to support US
exports to China and agreed to re-launch bilateral air service negotiations
beginning in January 2007.
The second session of the dialogue will be held in Washington next May.
While meeting with the US delegation, which is composed of almost half of
Bush's cabinet, President Hu Jintao said he hoped the two countries would take
full advantage of the new platform to make the strategic dialogue an efficient
mechanism for communication.
He said the dialogue would not only push forward bilateral economic
co-operation but also bring positive effects for the stable growth of regional
and world economies.
Calling the US delegation the highest-profile economic mission the United
States has ever sent to China, Premier Wen Jiabao said this fact proves that
Sino-US economic co-operation is not only mutually beneficial but important.
The premier noted that the dialogue has aroused wide attention from the
international community as both the European Union and Japan have shown their
interest in launching similar events.
Wen said the maintenance and advancement of Sino-US economic ties requires a
strategic perspective, which features principles of "development, equality and
Paulson, the special representative of US President George W. Bush, welcomed
Wen's remarks, saying the dialogue is of historic significance.
He said the US side has learned a lot from discussions with their Chinese
counterparts and has received a better understanding of Beijing's positions.
He made commitments to the Chinese premier to work together with the country
to push forward bilateral economic relations.
At a joint press briefing on Friday, Vice-Premier Wu Yi said the talks helped
enhance mutual trust and understanding between the two countries while boosting
bilateral trade and economic relations.
Wu said the two sides had not seen eye to eye on every issue but that was
understandable given completely different economic situations and values.
She said it is important to take a positive attitude towards differences, and
urged the two countries to seek common ground while putting the disputes aside
and taking each others' concerns into consideration.
Describing the discussion as "very frank and productive," Paulson said the
bilateral economic relationship is best when it produces benefits for both
countries, noting that balanced sustainable growth in China is vital to the
strength of the global economy.
"We will each take measures to address global imbalances, notably through
greater national savings in the United States and through increased domestic
consumption and exchange rate flexibility in China, and maintaining open
investment in both countries," he said in the joint press briefing.
(China Daily 12/16/2006 page1)