China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue productive

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The fourth round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was "productive" and made progress in several economic and trade areas, a U.S. expert on global economy and China-U.S. relations said Friday.

"The movement is in the right direction," Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution, said in an interview with Xinhua.

He spoke highly of the speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the opening session of this year's S&ED, saying the address which focused on the needs to construct a new type of Sino-U.S. relationship was "very positive" and set the goals for the development of bilateral relations.

Lieberthal also welcomed the commitment made by the two countries to resuming negotiations regarding bilateral investment treaty.

In a joint economic track fact sheet of 2012 S&ED, the two countries reaffirmed the importance of fostering open, fair, and transparent investment environments to their domestic economies and to the global economy.

The two sides pledged to schedule a seventh and subsequent negotiating rounds about the bilateral investment treaty.

"It is of great importance to the United States that China undertakes domestic structural reforms to achieve the goals of the 12th five-year plan," Lieberthal said.

China's sustained, healthy and balanced growth is "very much in the interest of the United States," he added.

The United States needs to deal effectively with its fiscal deficit, which is necessary for its sustained and robust growth in the long run, he said, adding China is also heavily invested in the U.S. economy.

He commented on China's shrinking trade surplus as a share to its GDP, saying that more balanced trade in China is good for the world economy, but domestic reforms need to be taken vigorously to make the change sustainable.

Seeking common ground while reserving differences would be the spirit of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Lieberthal said. This year's meetings have demonstrated that the two countries could promote cooperation on what they agree and limit tension on what they diverge.

"Most of the things that China seeks are actually also in America's interest," Lieberthal said, adding that China is a major factor in global economic growth from which the United States benefits a lot.

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