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US-China Ties Important to World: US Official

United States Assistant Secretary of State Anthony Wayne said Wednesday that the US-China relationship is not only important to the US and China, but also to the entire region and the world.

He said this in a key-note speech "US Economic Engagement in Asia" during a breakfast of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Wayne said "the world economy grew by 5 percent over the past year, its fastest pace in two decades." The twin engines of America and China together accounted for half of the global growth.

He emphasized that this is evidence that "if we manage our relationship well, the world as a whole benefits."

He said the US must vigilantly manage this vitally important bilateral relationship, which means staying engaged in all areas -- political and economic, bilateral and multilateral -- "so that problems in one area do not block progress in another."

Wayne said the fundamental US policy interest lies in responsible conduct of US-China relations, and those interests will not change in the coming years.

He said dialogue with China involving the most senior leadership on both sides has been nearly continuous in the past years and has yielded gains for both sides, adding the pattern will continue in the years ahead.

He said China was the world's "No. 1 foreign direct investment (FDI) destination in 2003," and China's domestic market is increasingly a target for foreign enterprises.

The official said that a majority of American invested firms are in China to serve local clients and develop positions in the growing domestic market.

He said the US has been paying close attention to the Chinese mainland-Hong Kong Close Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the US firms expect to take advantage of the regulations to expand upon Hong Kong's traditional role as a gateway to investment in the Chinese mainland.

Wayne came to Hong Kong Monday for a two-day conference on intellectual property and telecommunications organized by the US State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the US Consulate General in Hong Kong. He will leave Hong Kong Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2004)

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