Visiting US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday said
China would make its own decisions on currency and called on the
two countries to work together to combat global warming and climate
"The currency decision is our nation's major economic partner
like China to make.... China makes that decision, let's say Chinese
decision. So I think the right way for us to talk about the
currency issue is on a bilateral or multilateral basis," Paulson
told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
"Having a currency that reflects economic reality, that is
reflective of economic fundamentals, is in China's best interest,"
Paulson is on a four-day visit to China with the first stop in
west China's Qinghai Province to see environmental protection
Paulson spent all of Monday in Qinghai, visiting Qinghai Lake,
the largest lake in China and an example of the environmental
challenges faced by the country as well as the global nature of
these problems. He also visited rural families and discussed
environmental protection with local officials.
"The environment issue is another important issue in the SED
(China-US Economic Strategic Dialogue). What's happening in terms
of climate change globally is impacting the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
and what's happening here also impacts the global environment,"
"I was very impressed to see what the Chinese government has
been doing here," Paulson said after visiting the lake.
The government has spent over 470 million yuan (about US$63
million) on environmental protection in the past seven years, with
23,600 hectares farmland and 15,000 hectares of mountain land being
turned into grasslands and forests.
"China's plan targeting for energy efficiency goes a long way to
make progress in carbon emissions," Paulson said, adding the key is
that "we could work together on technology, especially on clean
Collaborating on energy and the environment is one of the key
focuses of the SED, launched by US President George W. Bush and
Chinese President Hu Jintao last year to provide a focused and
effective framework for addressing issues of mutual concern.
Paulson will travel to Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese
leaders, including Hu and Vice Premier Wu Yi, to discuss a broad
range of issues that are critical to the China-US economic
relationship. "My meeting tomorrow is to do some planning in terms
of the work we need to accomplish between now and December,"
Paulson said. "Wu Yi and I will have talks to exchange and discuss
where we move forward."
Citing the purpose of the SED as "strategic" and "looking to the
future", Paulson said he would also discuss some "sensitive,
short-term" issues including food safety.
Paulson's visit came days after the Senate Finance Committee
raised a bill on currency exchange rates, which would impose
sanctions on China for unfair trade policies if it is approved by
the Congress. "Treasury cannot support or recommend this approach,
and continues to believe that direct, robust discussion with senior
Chinese leaders, not legislation, is the best means of achieving
progress," Paulson said.
The Agreements Reached at the 2nd China-US
Strategic Economic Dialogue
(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2007)