In the morning of May 3, 2012, the fourth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) kicked off in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Chinese President Hu Jintao attended the opening session and delivered an important speech. US President Barack Obama sent a text message to the event.
Hu pointed out that the China-US S&ED has facilitated the high-level strategic consultation between the two countries. China and the US have increased understanding of each other's strategic intentions and policies and expanded consensus on the future course of China-US relations. The S&ED has given a strong boost to our mutually beneficial cooperation and contributed to the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples. It has enriched exchanges and consultations between the two countries in various fields and at various levels. He hopes that the two sides both focus on the present and look ahead to the future during this round of S&ED and explore ways to build China-US cooperative partnership.
He stressed that China and the US are respectively the largest developing country and the largest developed country in the world. The sustained, sound and steady growth of our relations will not only deliver real benefits to our two peoples but also make valuable contributions to world peace, stability and prosperity. Whatever changes may take place in the world and no matter how the domestic situations in our two countries may evolve, China and the US should be firmly committed to advancing the cooperative partnership and build a new type of relationship between major countries that is reassuring to both of our people and to people across the world.
He pointed out that first of all to build a new type of relationship between China and the US as two major countries, we need to think creatively. We should, through creative thinking and concrete steps, seek new ways of developing relations between major countries in the era of economic globalization. Second, we need to trust each other. The world we live in is big enough for China, the US and all other countries to achieve common development. Third, we need to act in the spirit of equality and mutual understanding. We should respect and accommodate each other's interests and concerns and properly handle differences. Fourth, we need to work actively. We need to take solid and effective steps to implement what we have agreed upon. We should enhance practical cooperation in a wide range of areas and bring the benefits of China-US cooperation to the people of our two countries and the whole world. Fifth, we need to nourish our friendship. We should actively promote exchanges between China and the US from all walks of life and encourage greater public participation in the course of promoting China-US friendship and cooperation.
He noted lastly that China and the US now face new opportunities to further grow our relations and are confronted with new challenges as well. Let us seize opportunities, remove interferences and work together to build a new type of relationship between major countries featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Obama said in the text message that the US is firmly committed to building the US-China cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. The two sides have established the effective communication framework through frequent high-level exchanges. The S&ED manifests the width and depth of US-China relations and the cooperation capacity of both sides. It has enhanced communications, improved mutual trust and deepened cooperation between the two countries. The US and China can work together to safeguard global security, stability and prosperity through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
He noted the US and China can prove to the world that US-China relations will not repeat past mistakes. The two countries can join hands to overcome the severe economic and security challenges in the 21st century and build a solid foundation for the development of bilateral relations featured by lasting trust, long-term stability and full of hope.
Hu’s special representatives Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Obama’s special representatives Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner co-chaired the dialogue and addressed the opening session respectively.
Wang said that President Hu Jintao and President Obama met in Seoul and Vice President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the US not long ago. The two sides further clarified the strategic positioning of building the China-US strategic partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and pointed out direction for this round of S&ED. Since the establishment of the S&ED, 151 economic cooperation outcomes have been achieved. Practice has proved that the S&ED is broad, pragmatic and productive. It takes care of each other's concerns, avoids the "politicization" of the economic problems to the maximum extent, fully reflects the win-win nature of China-US cooperation and effectively maintains the interests of the two peoples at the level of economic relations. In the context of the current complicated and severe global economic situation, he hopes that the two sides take the opportunity of this round of S&ED to further promote pragmatic cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, finance and infrastructure, step up communication and coordination, convert the consensus of the two heads of state into tangible results and boost the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the Chinese and US economy and the world economy at large.
Dai said that practice has proved the correctness of the decision made by the two heads of state to launch the S&ED. Throughout the world history, there are too many painful lessons that big powers contended for hegemony, victimizing themselves and causing sufferings to the world. Living in the 21st century, we should learn a lesson, respond to the call of the times, break the so-called historical destiny that big powers inevitably engage in conflict and confrontation and bring lasting peace and prosperity to the world. Today, China is closer than ever before to the goal of rejuvenating the Chinese nation and needs more than ever before to unswervingly follow the path of development chosen on its own. We need to live in harmony with all the other countries in the world, seek common development and be committed to developing a new type of relationship with the US based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. As long as the two sides have sincerity, comply with the general trend, firmly stick to the direction determined by the two heads of state, continue to strengthen dialogue, enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and properly handle differences, we will be able to achieve our goals.
Clinton noted that in today’s world, no global player can afford to treat geopolitics as a zero-sum game. The relations between the US and China are highly interdependent. Major global issues cannot be solved without the cooperation between the US and China. The relationship between the US and China today is much stronger than 40 years ago when former President Nixon visited China. The two sides are working to build a relationship that allows both of our countries to flourish without unhealthy competition or conflict. It is the common expectation of the two peoples and will benefit people all over the world. The US believes that a prosperous China is beneficial to the US and a prosperous US is good to China. The S&ED is important to the US and to the US-China relations. The US expects the two sides to enhance mutual trust, avoid misjudgment and increase communications on major regional and international issues through dialogue.
Geithner noted that the S&ED was established three years ago when the global economy was faced with serious threats. The two sides worked together in a constructive manner to overcome the impact of the global financial crisis and pushed forward the bilateral relations. Today, the world economy is still facing various risks and challenges. Both the US and China are major economic and trade powers, share wide economic interests and key global responsibilities. We should build stronger economic relations and a better framework for cooperation, recognize and respect each other’s interests and concerns, properly solve relevant issues, advance our own economic reform, boost the balanced growth of bilateral trade, continue to strengthen cooperation in the G20 and other multilateral frameworks, promote reform of the international financial system and boost global economic growth.
Following the opening session, the two sides conducted the strategic and the economic dialogue respectively.