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Curtain Falls on China-US Second Economic Dialogue
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China and the United States on Wednesday ended a key economic dialogue n Washington in a spirit of agreement. In her closing statement at the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi praised the new consensus seen between the two countries and the positive results that were achieved. 

"Thanks to careful attention and joint efforts from both sides, the second meeting of the strategic dialogue achieved great success," said Wu, acting as the special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"The economic and trade relationship between China and the US is one of the most complicated in today's world," she said. "The SED provides an excellent platform for both sides to further understanding and trust in terms of strategic issues."

Meanwhile, the Chinese leader warned the US against the current mood of rising protectionism and threat in the United States. Wu asked for consultation and dialogue to become the norm instead of threats and sanctions.

For his part, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that US and China both understood that "getting the economic relationship right is vital not only to our people, but to the world economy."

Paulson, who co-chaired the Strategic Economic Dialogue with Wu as the special envoy of President George W. Bush, also noted the range of agreements reached during the SED.

"We agree that it is vital to the prosperity of both our nations, that China rebalance its economic growth, encourage consumption and spread development more broadly among its people," he said.

Both countries also agreed that "deepening our two-way trading relationship will create jobs and give our citizens a wider variety of choices and lower prices on goods," he added.

"We have built strong relationships since our inaugural meeting in Beijing," said the Treasure chief, praising the outcome of the first SED in December 2006, adding that bilateral relations will "continue to grow stronger and produce on-going returns."

An aviation agreement reached on Wednesday will see daily passenger flights from the US to China double by 2012, whilst air cargo companies will enjoy almost unfettered access to the Chinese market by 2011.

The two countries also renewed their commitment to WTO Doha negotiations and will further discuss reducing or eliminating both tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services.

A further agreement will see both sides promote policy incentives to ensure the rapid and full commercialization of advanced coal technologies and of carbon capture and storage technologies.

On the front of the tourism industry, negotiations will be launched that could ease restrictions for Chinese group tourism to the US."

"Allowing tourism companies to arrange trips for Chinese travelers to the United States is a significant step, since one in seven jobs in the US is connected to tourism," said the US delegation in a statement.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2007)

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