Will Obama bring bull market for Sino-US cooperation?

By Zhang Guoqing
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, November 14, 2009
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Cooperation on energy and environmental protection will be a highlighted topic during the US president's coming visit to Beijing. China and the United States are the two largest energy consumers and also have the most greenhouse gas emissions in the world. The two countries can benefit from cooperation in clean energy, which has been stressed by Barack Obama many times since he came into office.


China and the United States should collaborate on developing a low-carbon economy and researching clean energy. The bilateral cooperation will be helpful for reaching a deal to fight against global warming at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, said Obama.


China and the U.S. would not sign any formal agreements during Obama's visit to Beijing, said Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, on October 28. However, he said, the two countries would find common ground and work together to contribute to reaching agreements in Copenhagen, and the two nations would also expand their partnership in the area of clean energy.


Actually China and the United States have collaborated on clean transportation, clean and efficient production of electric power, and reducing air and water pollution through strategic and economic dialogues.


During the 20th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), US wind power technology was allowed to enter the Chinese market equally and freely, which had been a concern of the Obama administration. Gary Locke, commerce secretary of the United States, was happy to say that China's wind power capacity will reach 30,000 mw before the end of this year, meaning that the U.S. will have a bigger market share in China. In addition, China's Jiangsu Province has stipulated that residence buildings with less than 12 floors have to be equipped with solar water heaters, which also makes the United States look forward to a better future market.


One day after the 20th JCCT, Shenyang Energy Group Co., Ltd. and two American energy companies – the US Renewable Energy Group and Cielo Wind Power LP – entered into US$1.5 billion worth of agreements on wind power investment. It is the largest Sino-US deal regarding new energy cooperation so far.


Apparently, Obama will spare no effort to promote Sino-US energy use and environmental protection cooperation next year, with aims at boosting the American economy, given that his administration can finish their medical reforms this year. It is also an opportunity through which the U.S. may reduce its regulations on technology exports to China.


The Chinese government and companies should prepare for negotiations in future Sino-US cooperation endeavors to maximize their benefits.


How to avoid overcapacity is a new challenge in the future of Sino-US cooperation. A US company said recently that it would establish a solar power plant in China's Inner Mongolia with the annual capacity of 2,000 mw, which will make it the largest solar energy program in the world. However, the problem is that solar power capacity in China is already in excess. Thus, it will be a challenge to expand the energy and environmental protection collaboration effectively without creating an economic bubble.


(This article was translated by Yang Xi.)

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