On May 6, 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and Foreign media where Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai and Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao introduced the background, main activities and significance of the third round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) to be held in Washington.
Cui said that the third round of SED will be held from May 9 to 10 in Washington, the US. Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, as the special representatives of President Hu Jintao will co-chair the dialogue with US Secretary of State Clinton and Treasury Secretary Geithner who are the special representatives of President Obama. As an upcoming major high-level event between China and the US to be held after President Hu Jintao successfully visited the US in January this year and China-US relations enter into a new stage of building the cooperative partnership, the SED has drawn wide attention.
The China-US SED mechanism is an important measure of promoting the development of bilateral relations in the new era. Since the two heads of state jointly initiated the mechanism in April 2009, the two sides have successfully held in Washington and Beijing two rounds of dialogue which have achieved fruitful results and effectively boosted the development of China-US relations. Facts show that the SED has become a key platform for both countries to expand understanding, increase mutual trust and broaden cooperation.
China-US relations enjoy a sound momentum of development currently. When President Hu paid the state visit to the US successfully in January this year, the two heads of state reached major consensus on building a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and released the China-US Joint Statement which points out the direction for the future development of China-US ties. Since then, China and the US have maintained frequent exchanges at all levels, achieved progress of cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, culture, education, law enforcement, energy and environmental protection and kept effective communications and coordination on major regional and international issues.
At the same time, the international situation continues undergoing new, profound and complicated changes and new problems and challenges keep popping up. The situation in West Asia and North Africa remains turbulent and Japan suffered from the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear leakage, which has drawn close attention from the international community. The anti-terrorism situation worldwide is experiencing new changes, but the world still faces multiple unstable factors. The continuous price fluctuations of oil and other bulk commodities impact the livelihood of people all over the world and bring about uncertainties to the world economic prospects. Under such circumstances, to make the third SED a success is of great significance to implementing the major consensus reached by the two heads of state during President Hu's visit to the US, advancing the development of China-US cooperative partnership, strengthening the bilateral cooperation and coordination on both regional and international issues and promoting peace, stability and development in the world. A sound China-US relationship not only serves the interest of both countries but also complies with the aspiration of the international community.
The Chinese side attaches great importance to the third round of SED and expects the two countries to conduct sincere and in-depth communications on the strategic and long-term issues of overall importance to the development of China-US relations by focusing on the consensus reached by the two heads of state. China will send a high-level delegation to the US for the dialogue. Nearly 30 senior officials of more than 20 departments of China and the US respectively will attend the event. During the dialogue, President Obama will meet with the two Chinese special representatives, and the two sides will hold the joint opening ceremony, entrepreneurs' luncheon and joint press conference. Vice Premier Wang and Treasury Secretary Geithner will co-chair the economic dialogue while State Councilor Dai and Secretary of State Clinton will co-chair the strategic dialogue. Wang and Dai will also extensively contact congressmen, people from the financial and business community, former politicians and heads of think-tanks in the US.
Cui pointed out that the two sides, during the strategic dialogue, will have in-depth discussions on building the China-US cooperative partnership, enhancing strategic mutual trust, properly handling sensitive issues, the bilateral cooperation in Asia and Pacific region and coordination on regional and international affairs and global issues. Relevant departments of both countries will hold a number of consultations on themes like peace-keeping, law enforcement cooperation and climate change. The two sides will also hold the first China-US strategic security dialogue. China expects, through the dialogue, to strengthen mutual understanding, step up strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and effectively enhance coordination and cooperation at the bilateral, regional and global levels with the US so as to consolidate and deepen the bilateral cooperative partnership.
Zhu noted that the economic dialogue of the third round of SED will be held under the background that President Hu paid the successful historic visit to the US in January this year and China and the US will build the comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership. It is a critical event for the two sides to make strategic consultations on the major issues related with their economic relations following the comprehensive, strategic and long-term principle. Both China and the US agree that the most important target of the economic dialogue is to implement the economic agenda defined in the China-US Joint Statement released when President Hu visited the US at the beginning of this year so as to promote the stable progress of China-US economic relations.
As agreed by China and the US, the theme of the economic dialogue will be building the comprehensive and mutually beneficial China-US economic partnership, under which the two sides will discuss the following topics: first, promoting trade and investment cooperation, including promoting open trade and investment, accelerating trade and investment cooperation in emerging industries and boosting innovation cooperation; second, improving the financial system and strengthening financial supervision, mainly including reform of the financial sector, cross-border financial supervision cooperation and financial supervision measures on cross-border capital flows; third, speeding up structural readjustment and change of development mode, mainly including readjusting the consumption and savings rates, improving social security network and increasing productivity and competitiveness; fourth, stimulating the strong, sustained and balanced economic growth, mainly including the global macroeconomic situation and challenges which will involve the European sovereign debt crisis, the impact of situation in the Middle East and North Africa on the regional and world economy, Japan's heavy natural disasters and the influence of rising energy price on the strong, sustained and balanced growth of world economy. Those discussions are expected to help promote the sustained and stable recovery of world economy, reduce imbalances in the global economy and promote the reform of international currency system.
In order to implement the important consensus entered into between President Hu and President Obama on promoting China-US comprehensive economic cooperation and establishing the framework of such cooperation by May this year when the two sides hold the third round of SED, the work groups of China and the US, under the direct leadership of Vice Premier Wang and Treasury Secretary Geithner, have kept close consultations and been carefully preparing for the dialogue outcome. The economic dialogue will help deepen China-US strategic mutual trust in major economic issues, expand the bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various economic sectors, appropriately address the issues emerging in the process of rapid development of China-US economic relations and establish the Framework on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Between China and the US which will guide the building of the comprehensive and mutually beneficial China-US economic partnership, said Zhu.
More than 100 Chinese and foreign journalists attended the briefing.