China has prepared a long list of energy cooperation priorities
for the US delegation that will attend the third China-US Strategic
Economic Dialogue scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, a cabinet
minister said yesterday.
Minister of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Ma Kai said China needs "comprehensive
cooperation" with the US in every aspect of energy, including
electricity, coal, petroleum and gas, renewable energy and energy
"We have prepared a China-US energy cooperation guidebook," said
Ma, a key player in the dialogue mechanism in which Chinese
Vice-Premier Wu Yi and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
will head their respective delegations.
US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, too, will attend the
Talking about the suggestions, Ma said the USA's "mature
experience" in improving coal-burning efficiency, renewable energy
research and technological transfers will become new "growth
points" for China-US economic ties.
"The two sides should intensify their energy efficiency
cooperation and increase their efforts in clean energy
exploration," Ma said.
Chief economist of New York-based Environmental Defense Daniel
Dudek said China and the US have the common problem of controlling
emissions from fossil fuel combustion, especially greenhouse gases.
And hence, sharing of effective solutions will contribute
positively to reducing environmental damage both locally and
"This is an urgent matter because China and the US by their
action or inaction will largely determine how much climate change
we have in the 21st century," he said.
Coal accounts for 69.3 percent of China's total energy
consumption, and its large volume of reserves can help guarantee
the country's energy security, Ma said.
"But we will reduce its percentage in our total energy
consumption and apply cleaner technologies to reduce pollution and
emission while burning coal."
The NDRC and the US Department of Energy signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) in September to cooperate in increasing energy
efficiency in China's industrial sector, which accounts for 70
percent of the country's energy demand.
Earlier, Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Energy
Karen Harbert said the MOU could serve as a channel for US
companies to export environment-friendly US-made equipment and
services to China.
Ma said: "I hope the working teams from the two sides can finish
preparatory work as soon as possible and put the MOU in action
The NDRC has agreed with the US departments of Energy and
Agriculture that the two countries will implement "comprehensive
cooperation" in bio-mass research and use.
"This is our cooperation priority, and I hope we can act now,"
US officials urged China to further open its market for US goods
to reduce China's surplus of $133.85 billion. Gutierrez said:
"Openness is at the core of the future of our ties. Maintaining
openness is not easy, but necessary."
But Chinese experts argued that the country's surplus is
"structural" and a huge number of US consumers benefit from the
competitive imports from China.
US-invested companies in China have contributed a large
percentage of the surplus, said Li Yushi, a researcher with the
Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic
(China Daily December 11, 2007)