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China, US set date for new economic talks
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The United States and China will hold the fourth round of high-level economic talks on June 17-18 in Annapolis, Maryland.

The US Treasury Department announced Wednesday that the Strategic Economic Dialogue will take place at the US Naval Academy. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will head the US delegation.

At the last meeting, held in December in Beijing, the discussions covered such issues as food safety and environmental protection and the rise of protectionist sentiments in both countries.

Earlier last month, US secretary of commerce Carlos Gutierrez told chinadaily.com.cn that the largest issue that both China and the United States need to address in terms of the bilateral trade relations is the pressure for economic protectionism.

"I believe that we are both facing similar issues in each of our own domestic markets. Some issues maybe different, but I think that one we have in common is we both face a pressure for economic protectionism, isolationism," said Gutierrez.

"We have to work together to convince people that the more we open, the more we trade, the more we welcome investors, then the more jobs will create and better livelihoods we will create. Because that's why we were doing this: people's lives will be better and we believe that the way to do that is openness and not isolating oneself," he added.

Gutierrez also said that the US recession is not expected to affect overall China-US relations. He said he hopes the US economy's downturn wouldn't impact the countries' relationship, because bilateral relations are "bigger than" a single economic element.

Low demand in the US market drove China's surplus against the US to drop by 12.4 percent to $16.1 billion in March the lowest level in two years, according to US department of commerce statistics.

(China Daily June 5, 2008)

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