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US-Chinese officials, "Opening Session of the Second Strategic and Economic Dialogue," May 23, 2010

The Strategic and Economic Opening Session included remarks from: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, President Hu Jintao, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, and State Councilor Dai.
May 25, 2010

Strategic and Economic Dialogue Opening Session
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
President Hu Jintao; Vice-Premier Wang Qishan; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; State Councilor Dai

Great Hall of the People
Beijing, China

May 23, 2010

VICE-PREMIER WANG: (Via translator) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, dear colleagues, today marks the opening of the second round of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues. As the special representatives of President Hu Jintao, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and I wish to extend a warm welcome to President Obama's special representatives, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner, and to all members of the U.S. delegation.


VICE-PREMIER WANG: (Via translator) Both our presidents attach great importance to this round of the S&ED. President Hu Jintao will join us and deliver an important address. We will also hear an important message from President Obama.

To build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century it is important agreement is reached between our two presidents that represents the common desire by our two peoples and constitutes the core objectives of the S&ED.

Based on this agreement, the first round of the S&ED was successfully held in Washington, D.C. last year. It has played a positive role in enhancing our cooperation in various fields, facilitating our joint response to the international financial crisis, and promoting world economic recovery -- the global governance structure.

The current round of the S&ED will cover a broad range of issues, giving full expression to the overarching strategic and long-term nature of our dialogue. Under the theme of ensuring the continuation of a mutually beneficial economic partnership, our two sides will have in-depth discussions in economic dialogue on a number of major issues, including macro economic policies, trade and investment, financial market stability, and reformed international financial architecture.

This will enable us to further our cooperation to solidify the positive trend of our two economies, and promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth of the global economy. China-U.S. economic ties are a major cornerstone of our overall relationship. As China presses ahead with reform and opening up, China-U.S. economic trade and financial cooperation has enjoyed a dynamic growth. With increasingly close links, our two economies have become inseparable. This has been particularly true since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, when our two countries have been acting together to (inaudible) over the difficulties. What has happened shows that a high economic complementarily can only make China and the United States partners for a win-win cooperation, not rivals in a zero-sum game. So long as the two sides engage in candid communications, (inaudible) common ground, while resolving differences, we will prevail over any difficulty that may lie ahead.

The world economy is now at a critical juncture for further recovery, and the situation remains highly complex. Both China and the United States are faced with many challenges and deep-seated problems. I am confident that, through the common ground of the S&ED, we will expand common ground, narrow differences, and work to push forward the sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations.

I wish the second round of the S&ED a great success. Thank you.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. I want to thank State Councilor Dai and Vice-Premier Wang for their very warm hospitality. It is a pleasure for our entire delegation to be here in Beijing. And it is an honor to join my colleague, Secretary Geithner, and the many officials from across our government in representing the United States at this second round of the strategic and economic dialogue.

I first visited China in 1995, and I have been privileged to return since then. Every trip to China offers fresh insights and images of the dynamism of this country and its people, the pace of change, and the possibilities for the future. Back in 1995, trade between our two nations was measured in the tens of billions of dollars. Today it is counted in the hundreds of billions. Few people back then had cell phones, and almost no one had access to the Internet. Today China has the world's largest mobile phone network, and more Internet users than any other country on earth.

In 1995, both our countries signed on to the Beijing platform for action to advance equality and opportunity for women. And while there is still much to do in both of our countries, I know that Chinese women have made real progress in education, health care, and employment. Hundreds of millions of men, women, and children have been lifted out of poverty. And China has flourished in so many ways. Freer trade and open markets have created jobs in both our countries, and given Chinese consumers access to new goods and to higher standards of living.

The United States welcomes China's progress and its accomplishments. And by establishing patterns of cooperation, rather than competition between our two countries, we see the opportunity, as we have just heard from Vice-Premier Wang, for win-win solutions, rather than zero-sum rivalries, for we know that few global problems can be solved by the United States or China acting alone. And few can be solved without the United States and China working together.

With this in mind, I would like to read a few lines of a letter from President Obama that I will be personally handing to President Hu Jintao. President Obama wrote: "Our relationship with China is guided by the recognition that we live in an inter-connected world. One country's success need not come at the expense of another. Our progress can be shared. Indeed, the United States welcomes China as a strong, prosperous, and successful member of the community of nations."

Over the past 16 months, we have worked together to lay the foundation for that positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship that President Obama and President Hu have committed our nations to pursuing. We launched the strategic and economic dialogue last year in Washington, as the premier convening mechanism in our relationship. And this year we have assembled an even broader and deeper team, here in China, to address our growing agenda. We have built avenues of cooperation and identified areas of mutual interest.

Our job, moving forward, is to translate that common interest into common action and, in turn, to translate that action into results that improve the lives of our people, and contribute to global progress. Over the long term, these results are how our relationship will be measured.

We are conscious that meaningful progress against great global challenges is the work of years, not days. We know that this gathering, in and of itself, is a foundation for ongoing cooperation that has to take place every day at every level of our government. And so, we will blend urgency and persistence in pursuit of shared goals.

We have already begun to see progress on some of the key areas of common concern that we laid out in our first dialogue last year. But there is much work to be done.

First, on international security challenges, the United States and China have consulted closely on the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program. The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran concerns us all. And to address that threat, together we have pursued a dual-track approach of engagement and pressure, aimed at encouraging Iran's leaders to change course. The draft resolution agreed to by all of our P-5+1 partners and circulated at the Security Council sends a clear message to the Iranian leadership: Live up to your obligation, or face growing isolation and consequences. As we continue to cooperate in New York, the burden is on Iran to demonstrate through its actions that it will uphold its responsibility.

North Korea is also a matter of urgent concern. Last year we worked together to pass and enforce a strong UN Security Council resolution in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test. And today we face another serious challenge, provoked by the sinking of the South Korean ship. So we must work together, again, to address this challenge and advance our shared objectives for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We asked North Korea to stop its provocative behavior, halt its policy of threats and belligerence towards its neighbors, and take irreversible steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments, and comply with international law.

Now, beyond these two pressing challenges there are other shared security concerns that I look forward to discussing, including the fight against violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, counter-piracy efforts, and deeper military-to-military cooperation.

Second, on climate and energy, we have built on the memorandum of understanding signed at the last round of the dialogues, collaborating on new, clean energy research, including a center. We have committed ourselves to an electrical vehicle initiative, and a renewable energy partnership, and more. At Copenhagen, for the first time, all major economies, including both the United States and China, made national commitments to curb carbon emissions and transparently report on their mitigation efforts. Now we must work to implement the Copenhagen accord with balanced commitments that are reflected in the ongoing negotiation.

And on behalf of Secretary Steven Chu, I extend his regrets. He was unable to be with us, because he had to stay and work very urgently on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Third, on education, health, and development, tomorrow I will meet with State Councilor Liu to launch a new dialogue on educational and cultural exchanges that will deepen understanding and cooperation between our people. I am very pleased that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has joined us this year to expand cooperation on infectious diseases and other international health challenges. Our ambassador for global women's issues, Melanne Verveer, is also here because we recognize that the roles and rights of women are central to many of the issues we face, including devising a global strategy for development that is both sustainable and effective.

The Obama Administration has worked to advance a long-term investment-driven approach to development. And Administrator Raj Shah is leading our efforts. We have elevated development as a core pillar of our foreign policy, and we seek to coordinate with China and other donors to meet country-led needs and to comply with internationally-agreed standards.

Finally, we have worked together and seen progress on promoting global economic recovery and growth. Secretary Geithner, Secretary Locke, Ambassador Kirk, Chairman Bernanke, and the rest of our economic team will be talking in greater depth about how we can develop a more balanced global economy that will produce prosperity that reaches further and deeper for both the Chinese and American people.

Now, our discussions in these few days are unlikely to solve the shared challenges we face. But they can and should provide a framework for delivering real results to our people. We will not agree on every issue. But we will discuss them openly, as between friends and partners. And that includes America's commitment to universal human rights and dignity, and so much else that is on both Chinese and American minds.

There is a Chinese proverb that speaks of treading different paths that lead to the same destination. Our two nations have unique histories. China is home to an ancient civilization, as I saw in the Chinese Pavilion when I visited, with the scroll that has been made to come alive, showing life in this city 1,000 years ago. America is a young nation. But we know that our future, both our challenges and our opportunities, will be shared. We have traveled different paths, but that shared future is our common destination and responsibility. And, ultimately, that is what this dialogue is about.

So, again, let me thank State Councilor Dai and Vice-Premier Wang, and I look forward to our discussions in an open and candid exchange of views. Thank you very much.


STATE COUNCILOR DAI: (Via translator) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, good morning. In this blooming and enchanting month of May, I feel truly pleased to get together with Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, Secretary Clinton, and Secretary Geithner in Beijing to co-chair the second round of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues. And I look forward to joining you for the address of President Hu Jintao, who will soon be with us in the opening session, and for the message from President Obama.

So many Chinese and American friends that care for and are devoted to the world of China-U.S. relations have gathered today for candid and in-depth dialogues on strategic, long-term, and over-arching issues in China-U.S. relations. I believe this is, in itself, a pioneering undertaking in state-to-state relations.

I warmly welcome our American friends, especially those who have never been to China before. I hope you will feel at home, and even better than your life at home.

I recall that last year, when the world was haunted by the international financial crisis, President Hu Jintao and President Obama (inaudible) of the prospects of the 21st century, agreed to build a positive, cooperative, and a comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century, and the partnership to cope with common challenges. They decided to take a major strategic step by setting up the mechanisms of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues. In so doing, they sent a (inaudible) signal to the world that China and the United States would join hands to (inaudible) difficulties and work together for better future of China-U.S. relations and the world at large.

One year later, as we gather again and look at the world around us, I believe we all view more keenly that we are now at a crucial historical juncture in the development of mankind and China-U.S. relations. Our two countries not only need to answer the question of whether we can build a new type of relationship between major countries in the 21st century, but also face a strategic choice as to what kind of a century China and the United States, together with other countries, will leave to our peoples, to our children, and our children's children.

The last century the people of our generation have come through has witnessed a lot of progress made by mankind. It was still a century in which the zero-sum rule prevailed, and lines were drawn along ideologies. It was a century far from being tranquil. It was characterized by incessant confrontation between (inaudible) and cold wars. It was accentuated by disasters and diversities.

But what has happened has lingered on to the 21st century. Through problems old and new are intertwined, (inaudible) changes have taken place in our world. What sets this century apart from the previous one is that countries are becoming increasingly inter-dependent and their interests are, more than ever, inter-connected. Like it or not, we residents of earth have, in fact, become inseparable from one another. Be it in good times or bad times, we are bound together by common interests and have a common destiny to share.

We are faced in such a world with a rising multitude of global issues, with common challenges that no individual country or handful of countries can tackle alone. And with significant and thorny issues concerning the sustainable development of mankind, regardless of a difference in social systems and cultural traditions and (inaudible), no country -- no major country in particular should (inaudible) things that have become outdated.

We have to let suspicion, confrontation, and war give way to communication, cooperation, and the pursuit of peace. We have to learn to respect each other, conduct cooperation under equal footing, make concerted efforts (inaudible) harmonious coexistence. This is our only choice. We are convinced that, in this 21st century, neither the Chinese and American peoples, nor people of other countries, will allow history to repeat itself, or the cause of development to backpedal. No attempt to stir up confrontation (inaudible) war, be it a hot war, a cold war, or even a warm war will be popular in today's world. Nor will such an attempt lead to anywhere.

China and the United States, being the biggest developing and developed country in the world, should have its (inaudible) judgment of the development trend of our world, and go along with the tide of history. We should remove (inaudible) disruption and unswervingly follow the direction charted by our two presidents to do a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. partnership for the 21st century.

In this era of globalization, we should foster a new type of relations among major countries, characterized by mutual respect, harmonious coexistence, and win-win cooperation of countries with different social systems, cultural traditions, and development stages. This will contribute to the sustained and common development, and the prosperity of our two countries, and serve the interest of our two peoples and the people around the world.

We do not believe that world affairs should be determined by one or two individual countries. Yet, should China and the United States not be able to build and development such a new type of relation, the chance for peace will be seriously undermined in the 21st century. To build a new type of China-U.S. partnership will, without doubt, be a (inaudible) and a pioneering undertaking. (Inaudible) plain sailing or trouble free. But past experience has proven that this is the path that we must take, and it will lead us to success.

Looking back decades ago, who could have imagined that leaders of the elder generation in China and America could have that handshake that (inaudible) in the world? Who could have imagined that China-U.S. relations could witness such huge comprehensive and profound developments, only 31 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations? Who could have imagined that China and the United States, two major countries with different social systems, could join hands to tackle the (inaudible) their international financial crisis?

Along this line, we can well foresee that in the 21st century the statesmen and people of our two countries will have sufficient will, wisdom, and capacity to overcome all difficulties and to break new ground in establishing a new type of partnership between our two countries.

You may have watched a movie called Babel. It is an American movie. (Inaudible) and trust of utmost importance in the new century. I believe that it also applies to state-to-state relations. I believe that the strategic and economic dialogue should be an important and effective bridge in promoting communication, understanding, and trust between China and the United States, and should contribute to the beauty of a positive, cooperative, and a comprehensive China-U.S. partnership. This should be the unique function and value of our dialogue mechanism. And it is what our leaders and people expect of us.

I am ready to work with my Chinese and America colleagues to live up to that expectation, and to our common mission. Thank you.


MODERATOR: (Via translator) Now let us welcome Secretary Geithner to speak.


SECRETARY GEITHNER: Vice-premier Wang and Councilor Dai, I want to thank you for the respect and the courtesy you have shown us on this visit to Beijing.

Since last April, when President Hu and President Obama launched this new chapter in our relationship, we have worked very hard to build a stronger partnership. When we approach our relationship in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect for our core interests, with determination at the highest levels to overcome differences, we have had great success, from leading the global response to the financial crisis, to forging a global accord on climate in Copenhagen, to charting a common response to the challenge to international security posed by Iran.

Our common interests lie in a stronger and more resilient world economy, where growth is more balanced, both within and among nations. As we reform the U.S. economy to promote savings and investment, China is reforming its growth model to promote domestic demand and consumption.

Our common interests lie in building a more stable global financial system, one less prone to crisis. The United States and China are working to build financial systems that channel resources more efficiently to support investment and innovation that is critical to future economic growth. And the United States Senate last week passed sweeping reforms of the financial system of the United States to provide better protection for consumers and investors, and better prevention against future crises.

Our common interests lie in supporting a more open global trading system, with a fair balance of benefits and responsibilities in which countries are able to compete on a level playing field. Our two countries have benefited greatly from open trade and investment, and we welcome a more open China today. Innovation holds the key to a more prosperous future. But innovation flourishes best when markets are open, competition is fair, and strong protections exist for ideas and for inventions.

Our common interests lie in building a stronger global framework for cooperation in the group of 20 and in the international financial institutions. We will continue to work closely together to equip these institutions with the right tools and the right governance structure to confront global challenges like climate change, development, and future financial risks.

The world economy is now coming out of crisis. Economic growth in the U.S. and China is broader and stronger than many had anticipated even a few months ago. And even with the challenges of reform and growth facing some of the nations of Europe, we are together, the United States and China, along with India, Brazil, and the emerging economies of Asia and other regions, in a much stronger position today to overcome the challenges ahead.

Now, we are two different countries with very different political systems, different traditions, different views about the role of government in society and in the economy, different views about the relationship between the individual and the government. We each have our various challenges and our many strengths, and our strengths are complementary.

We welcome this opportunity to work closely with Vice-Premier Wang and with Councilor Dai and with their colleagues, to pursue our common interests and to seek solutions to these challenges. We approach these issues in a spirit of mutual respect for the traditions, values, and interests of the United States and China. Our approach reflects the insight in the Chinese saying, (speaks Chinese). When we work together in the face of adversity, our people are better off, and the world is better off. We are stronger together. Thank you.


MODERATOR: (Via translator) Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to ask you to kindly rise to welcome President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China.


PRESIDENT HU: (Via translator) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the second round of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues opens in Beijing today. Let me, first of all, extend a warm welcome to our American friends coming from afar.

The second round of the S&ED takes place at an important moment, when new developments are unfolding in the international, political, and economic landscape, and when China and the United States face new opportunities to further the bilateral relationship. It is of great significance for both of our two countries to achieve positive outcomes at this round of dialogues. I hope that, through a candid and in-depth discussion on over-arching strategic and long-term issues of mutual interest, the two sides will (inaudible) and further push forward China-U.S. cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen, over one year ago, President Obama and I met the first time in London. We agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century, setting up the goal for the development of China-U.S. relations in the new year. Since then, President Obama and I have met on many occasions. During President Obama's successful visit to China last November in particular, the two sides issued a China-U.S. joint statement offering a policy framework for the development of our bilateral ties.

In a spirit of solidarity, China and the United States have worked together to counter the extremely severe international financial crisis. We have coordinated macro economic policies, and facilitated efforts to bring about positive outcomes at the G20 financial summit, making important contributions to world economic recovery.

We have furthered our economic and trade ties, and stepped up mutually-beneficial cooperation in new and clean energy, energy conservation, emissions reduction, and energy efficiency enhancement to solidify the foundation of our exchanges.

China and the United States have maintained communication and coordination on major regional and international issues. We have worked with other parties to properly address regional hot spot issues. The two countries have also worked with other parties to manage the growing number of global issues, and played a positive role in putting up an international response to such challenges as climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and natural disasters.

Admittedly, China and the United States differ in national condition, and it is only natural that the two sides may disagree on some issues. What is important is to respect and accommodate each others' core interests and major concerns, appropriately handle the sensitive issues, and strengthen the foundation of mutual trust.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world is in the midst of major developments, major changes, and major adjustments. The trend toward (inaudible) and economic globalization is gathering momentum. The impact of the international financial crisis continues to be felt. Global issues are becoming more pronounced, and regional and international hot spot issues keep cropping up.

To further advance mankind's noble cause of peace and development requires greater cooperation among people of all countries. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the largest developing country and the largest developed country, China and the United States face common tasks and shoulder important responsibilities, ranging from promoting full recovery and sustainable growth of the world economy, to the managing of regional hot spots, meeting global challenges, and safeguarding world peace and security.

China attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. To develop long-term, sound, and steady China-U.S. relationship is a shared desire of our two peoples (inaudible) and contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond.

We need to stick to the right direction of China-U.S. relations. No matter how the international situation may evolve, and what difficulties and interferences we may encounter, we should always follow the strategic and long-term perspective, and speak to and safeguard the goal of working together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century. We should foster strategic mutual trust, strengthen strategic cooperation, appropriately handle differences, and step up communication, coordination, and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

We should respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Sovereignty, independence (inaudible) integrity are a country's most basic rights, recognized by the norms governing international relations. To the Chinese people, nothing is more important than safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. I trust that it's not difficult for the American people, who went through the American Civil War in their history to understand how important and valuable unity is to a nation.

We should respect the right of each and every country to independently choose its development path. We should recognize differences in countries' cultural traditions, social systems, values, and development concepts, and encourage different civilizations and development models to learn from and reinforce each other, so as to achieve common development. It is not advisable to use one model to measure the diverse and colorful world we live in.

We should maintain close interaction at the top and other levels. Full communication is an important basis for enhanced cooperation. Not even the most sophisticated telecommunication technology can replace face-to-face exchanges. In my meeting with President Obama in Washington on 12 May this year, we both agreed to stay in close touch through meetings, phone calls, and correspondence. We should also step up strategic dialogues and consultations to deepen understanding, expand common ground, and promote cooperation.

We should develop a pattern of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation. China and the United States should step up macro economic policy coordination, and promote sustained world economic recovery. The two sides should increase exchanges in cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, energy, the environment, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement, science and technology, education, agriculture, health, and quality inspections, and actively develop cooperation in such new areas as civil aviation, high-speed railway, infrastructure construction, and space exploration. In this way, we will lend fresh impetus to the growth of China-U.S. relations, and enable our peoples to reap tangible benefits of China-U.S. cooperation.

We should strengthen coordination on regional hot spots and global issues. China and the United States should step up communication and coordination on regional hot spot issues through bilateral channels and multilateral mechanisms. The two sides should increase (inaudible) and cooperation on such global issues as climate change, nuclear security, energy security, food security, disaster reduction, and (inaudible) fighting trans-national crimes, and prevention and control of serious communicable diseases. China and the United States should work with the rest of the international community to make the international system more just and equitable.

We should deepen mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. This provides an enduring driving force and broad foundation for the growth of state-to-state relations. China and the United States will establish a mechanism of people-to-people exchange. I believe this mechanism will contribute to the cultural, scientific, technological, and educational exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. The two sides should support youth exchanges so that the cause of China-U.S. relations will be carried forward by the younger generation. We should also scale up exchanges and cooperation between the business, academic, and media communities, and between local authorities and institutions to build a broad bridge of friendship between our two people.

Ladies and gentlemen, since the founding of the People's Republic of China over 60 years ago, and particularly (inaudible) opening up, earth-shaking changes have taken place in China. Yet we are keenly aware that China remains the world's largest developing country. We still have a very long way to go before we can fully build a moderately prosperous society of a higher level that will benefit over one billion people, and achieve basic modernization to bring common prosperity to all our people.

We will continue to pursue reform and opening up so that our economy will register greater growth, our democracy will be further enhanced, our science and education will make bigger strides, our culture will get more prosperous, our society will become more harmonious, and our peoples' lives will be better off. China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening up. We will expand market access in keeping with established international, economic, and trading laws, support the improvement of the international trading and financial system, and advance trade investment, liberalization, and facilitation.

China will accelerate the transformation of its economic development pattern. We will make great effort to expand domestic demand and increase household consumption, vigorously promote sound and balanced growth of external trade, and reject protectionism in all manifestations. China will continue to steadily advance the reform of the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress.

China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development and pursue friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence. We will not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, or impose our own will on others. We will work with all other countries to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen, to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century is in the fundamental interest of our two countries and two peoples. It also meets the need to promote world peace and development. Let us work together to open up even broader prospects for China-U.S. relations.

The original article can be found here.