On May 3, 2012, as the fourth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) is held in Beijing, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi received a media interview on the dialogue.
Q: Please introduce the origin of the S&ED and its importance to the overall China-US relations.
A: The S&ED was jointly initiated by President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama in 2009 and covers issues related to the overall, strategic and long-term development of the bilateral relations. The establishment of the S&ED reflects the breadth and depth of the China-US relations and the foresight of leaders of the two countries. The first three rounds of the S&ED were very fruitful and the two sides reached many important consensuses. For example, China and the US should become partners instead of rivals, should engage in win-win cooperation rather than hostile competition and should respect each other rather than undermine each other's core interests and major concerns. The two sides issued a joint press release, two lists of concrete results of the strategic dialogue, three joint fact sheets of the economic dialogue and the China-US Comprehensive Framework for Promoting Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and Economic Cooperation. Altogether 225 concrete results were achieved. The four special representatives initiated such flexible means of communication as irregular calls and small-scale meetings and created the strategic security dialogue and Asia-Pacific affairs consultation mechanism under the framework of the strategic dialogue. Those efforts have paved the way for the two heads of state to make the strategic decision of jointly building a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and played a unique and important role in promoting the development of China-US relations and high-level strategic communications.
The S&ED witnessed the extraordinary course of China-US relations over the past three years. During the three years, China-US relations in general maintained stable development. President Hu and President Obama paid state visit to each other successfully and held altogether 11 meetings. They reached important consensus on the development of the bilateral relations and brought the bilateral ties to a new historical stage of jointly building the cooperative partnership. Chairman Wu Bangguo visited the US in 2009 and Premier Wen Jiabao held four meetings with President Obama. Both events were highly productive. Earlier this year, Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the US significantly pushed forward the China-US cooperative partnership. Although during this period of time the China-US relations experienced some ups and downs and were still faced with the problems of Taiwan, trade frictions and human rights which need to be handled properly, cooperation has always been the mainstream of China-US relations and the bilateral ties have remained stable in general and moved forward constantly.
The current international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. China and the US, as two major powers in the world, should continue to maintain the stable development momentum of bilateral ties, which not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also meets the expectation of the international community. It is in this context that the fourth round of the S&ED is held. It is held at an important timing and has far-reaching significance. China expects through this S&ED to further implement the important consensus between the two heads of state to build the China-US cooperative partnership and promote the stable development of China-US relations this year and in the long run.
Both sides attach great importance to the S&ED. This morning, President Hu attended the joint opening session and delivered an important speech. He raised key initiatives on promoting the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and developing a new type of relationship between major powers, pointing out the direction for this round of the S&ED. President Obama also sent a written message. President Hu, Premier Wen and Vice Premier Li Keqiang will meet with the key members of the US delegation respectively tomorrow. Vice President Xi will meet with the two US special representatives and attend the welcome dinner tonight.
President Hu's special representatives Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo will preside over the S&ED together with President Obama's special representatives Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. They will then co-chair the economic and strategic dialogue respectively.
Q: Please briefly introduce the China-US economic dialogue.
A: Wang Qishan and Geithner co-chaired the opening session of the economic dialogue after the joint opening session was held this morning. Wang pointed out that the two sides have firmly upheld the overall, strategic and long-term direction under the framework of the economic dialogue over the past three years and conducted sincere dialogue and intensive communications, deepened cooperation on macro economy, trade, investment and finance and jointly promoted the reform of global economic governance. Those efforts have played a significant role of stimulating the economic growth and increasing employment of both countries. Practices have proved that this dialogue mechanism is broad, pragmatic and productive. It takes care of each other's concerns, avoids the "politicization" of economic issues to the maximum extent and fully reflects the win-win nature of the China-US cooperation. The response of the US side is very positive.
Around the theme of deepening strategic communication and pragmatic cooperation and promoting lasting and mutually beneficial China-US economic relationship, participants in this round of economic dialogue made in-depth discussions on the three topics of promoting strong, sustainable and balanced growth, expanding trade and investment opportunities and financial market stability and reform, held a working lunch and achieved positive results. The Chinese side is willing to work with the US and take the opportunity of the dialogue to convert the consensus reached between the two heads of state into tangible results and boost the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the Chinese and the US economy and the world economy at large.
Q: You have participated in the China-US strategic dialogue. What do you think of this dialogue?
A: The strategic dialogue is co-chaired by Dai Bingguo and Clinton and composed of three small-scale meetings, one large-scale meeting and one working lunch. This round of strategic dialogue has arranged more small-scale meetings than any of the past three rounds so that the two special representatives have sufficient time for in-depth communications. So far, half of the schedule has been finished. I'm most deeply impressed in the following aspects:
First of all, the consensus on promoting the building of partnership and a new type of relationship between big powers is further deepened. Both sides agree that the consensus of the two heads of state on building the cooperative partnership makes clear the direction for the China-US relations and must be implemented firmly. Dai Bingguo pointed out that to build a new type of relationship between big powers is the call of the times in the 21st century and the two sides should, under the guidance of the partnership, abandon the mentality of "zero-sum" game, build an inclusive world based on mutual benefit and blaze the trail of new relationship between big powers.
Second, both sides stress the importance of cultivating strategic mutual trust and believe that a prosperous US is beneficial to China and vice versa. The Chinese side emphasizes that China unswervingly pursues the road of peaceful development and will defend the international system, fulfill its international responsibilities and abide by the international rules. The US should respect China's core interest and major concerns and properly handle the problems related to Taiwan, Tibet and human rights.
Third, pragmatic cooperation in various fields is further promoted. The two sides agree to continue to push forward the Ten-Year Framework for Cooperation on Energy and Environment, establish five pairs of green cooperation partners and decide to sign the marine and fishery science and technology cooperation and joint customs training documents. China announces to join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Both sides also agree to step up cooperation in the fields of shale gas, biofuel, customs, law enforcement, nonproliferation, climate change and anti-smuggling of wild animals and plants.
Fourth, the two sides elaborated views and positions on the Asia Pacific situation and other regional and international issues. They indicated expectations to strengthen coordination and cooperation on those issues in order to promote regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.
In addition, the competent authorities of both countries also held the second China-US strategic security dialogue.
Finally, I'd like to point out that this round of the S&ED helps both sides to better understand each other's strategic intentions and policy, expand consensus on the development direction of China-US relations and deepen coordination and cooperation. The two sides agree to continue to build and improve the S&ED and make it a long-term mechanism for them to step up strategic communications, enhance strategic mutual trust and advance strategic cooperation. They will make pioneering explorations and practices to constantly push foward China-US cooperative partnership.