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Paulson: China's Growth, Stability Vital for All Nations
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China is already a world economic leader and deserves to be recognized as a leader, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Friday said in New York, while emphasizing China's growth and stability as "a vital issue for all nations."

Addressing the 16th annual conference of the Committee of 100, a non-profit, non-partisan organization of distinguished Chinese Americans in the United States, Paulson said: "China is transitioning from a planned economy into a market-driven economy and there is no doubt that this process will continue for a number of years."

Noting that China's growth and integration into the world economy "benefits the Chinese people and people of the world," the secretary stressed that because of its size and its role in the world market, "China is already a world economic leader and deserves to be recognized as a leader."

"And with leadership comes responsibility. Decisions about the pace and shape of China's economic reforms as well as policies relating to energy and environment affect nations here and around the world," he added.

China now has "a right goal, which is stability, economic stability and growth," the secretary said, pointing out that it would not be in anyone's interests for China to have economic problems.

On the huge US trade imbalance with China, Paulson said as the relations between the US and China grows and matures, tensions will naturally emerge. But "when disagreements arise, it is important to discuss them candidly, find ways to bridge the differences, and make progress so that both countries benefit," he said.

He noted the US-China relations is multi-faceted, and "our economic relations is a very important part of that overall relationship and one that benefits both of our nations."

Given the importance of the relationship between the United States and China, Paulson said that President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao established the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), which, as the secretary observed, is to focus on effective framework for addressing issues of mutual concern.

He said the first SED was held in Beijing in December, and the second meeting will be held next month in Washington. "The SED is focused on long term goals. We are very much focused on long term relationship and long term structural reforms."

"We and our Chinese counterparts are looking for tangible results," the secretary said.

Also, he said, "Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi and I see an important part of our job being to communicate frequently, iron out differences and keep our economic relationship on an even keel particularly during times of tension."

Voicing his confidence in the SED, the secretary said that through SED, "we will provide a stronger foundation for the economic relationship between our two countries, while yielding tangible benefits for both our countries in the short term."

(Xinhua News Agency April 21, 2007)

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