Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi landed in Washington Monday morning ahead
of the second Strategic Economic Dialogue which she will co-chair
with US Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson from Tuesday.
Secretary Henry Paulson greets China's Vice Premier Wu
Yi (R) upon her arrival at Andrews Air Force Base near
Washington, May 21, 2007.
Topics in the second SED meeting will revolve over services,
investment and transparency, energy and the environment as well as
growth balance and innovation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry
"China hopes that this meeting will widen common ground with the
US, develop cooperation and provide an all-round positive step for
our strategic partnership," a ministry spokeswoman said earlier in
The Chinese delegation, led by Wu Yi, also comprises senior
officials from a dozen government departments, including the
Finance Ministry, the National Development and Reform Commission,
the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Information
Industry, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Health and the
People's Bank of China among others.
The US has also put forward a high-flying line-up with Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson accompanied by Agriculture Secretary Mike
Johanns, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Labor Secretary
Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt,
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman,
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, EPA Administrator Stephen
Johnson, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Originally laid down by President George W. Bush and President
Hu Jintao last September, the SED is an avenue which will allow
both countries to focus on bilateral and global strategic economic
issues. The event is held twice a year, in Beijing and
It debuted in Beijing last December with the outcome described
as satisfactory by both delegations.
Ahead of the talks, Vice-Premier Wu Yi published an opinion
piece in the Wall Street Journal, in which she recommended
the US lift its hi-tech export embargo to China, a contentious
issue that will be high on the agenda of the talks. Wu said this
move would go some way towards alleviating the trade imbalance
between the two nations, something which has worried the US of
Analysts were optimistic about the talks, seeing them as a prime
opportunity for the two powers to lay down a foundation of trust
"China fully realizes the importance of the SED in maintaining
stable two-way trade relations," said Cao Honghui, visiting scholar
with the University of Colombia.
China's currency reform will also be on the table at the
economic talks. China's central bank announced on Monday that the
yuan's fluctuation band was widened from 0.3 to 0.5 percent a day.
Criticisms have flown that China is deliberately undervaluing the
yuan, domestic analysts have stated the central government would
keep its own counsel in terms of exchange rate reforms.
Since the yuan abandoned its peg to the dollar in July 2005, it
has appreciated by around 7 percent, showing its rising clout.
(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2007)