The meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of the London G20 summit had substantially strengthened relations between the two largest economies in the world, a Canadian scholar said Thursday.
"I don't think there are many disagreements among international observers that the Obama-Hu summit was the most important among all the bilateral meetings at the G20," said Wenran Jiang, Mactaggart Research Chair of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, in a phone interview with Xinhua.
"Symbolic as it was, the summit ended with lots of very important substances," Jiang said.
Most noticeably, Jiang said, the two leaders decided Wednesday to establish the mechanism of "China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue".
The mechanism is an "upgrading" of the former Strategic Dialogue and biennial Strategic Economic Dialogue between China and the U.S. and also a "clear reflection of the growing importance" of their bilateral ties, Jiang said.
The new mechanism will see a higher profile of officials as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will chair the "Strategic Track" and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan will chair the "Economic Track" of the dialogue.
Considering the fact that the first dialogue will occur in Washington this summer and Obama is going to visit China in the next half of this year, Jiang said, "you can see how this bilateral relations move forward in such a speed."
"The China-U.S. relationship is definitely shaping up as the most important relations in the world now," Jiang said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2009)