China-US dialogue highlights will for further cooperation

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China and the United States on Monday voiced their will for further cooperation at an ongoing high-level dialogue between the two countries.

At the opening session of the third round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan relayed President Hu Jintao's hope for mutual trust and cooperation.

"He hopes that the Chinese and U.S. sides will make the most of this round of dialogues to have in-depth exchange of views on ways to further enhance strategic mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation," Wang said.

"At present, we still face many uncertainties when we are striving to tackle global economic recession and sustain economic recovery," said Wang.

"Against such a backdrop, economic and social development in China and the United States face both common challenges and opportunities of cooperation," he said.

Despite complementarities and clashes in their respective policies to ensure economic recovery, Wang noted that China and the United States "have far more shared interests and cooperation than differences and competition."

Referring to the S&ED mechanism as an "overarching framework for long-term and strategic issues," he called on the two nations to take solid steps to advance the sound development of bilateral economic relations.

Echoing Wang's remarks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton viewed the forum as an opportunity to "form habits of cooperation," which will help the two nations to more effectively meet their shared regional and global challenges, and also to weather disagreements when they arise.

"It is a chance to expand the areas where we cooperate and to narrow the areas where we diverge, while both of us holding firm to our values and interests," she said.

"Our work really begins with our commitment to better understanding one another, to building trust between each other, and to working to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation," Clinton said.

She said both sides have much to gain from cooperation than conflict.

Also at the the session was Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who voiced his confidence that both sides will blaze a trail for relations between two major countries that feature mutual respect, harmonious coexistence and win-win cooperation.

The China-U.S. relationship is at an extremely important point in history, said Dai, adding that leaders of the two countries decided in January to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, charting a clear course for the future of China-U.S. relations.

The state councilor also welcomed more American friends to visit China and learn first-hand the enormous progress China has made in various fronts, including in human rights.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, for his part, said that China's rise is a positive development not only for China but also for America and the world at large.

"We seek to cooperate to advance our mutual interests not only on economic growth that is strong, stable and balanced and trade that is free and fair, we seek cooperation to advance our mutual interests and a future that will come from an energy supply that is clean and secure," he said.

"We are bound by much more than commerce. Over the last few decades our people have become increasingly linked through education, through work," he said.

Biden said the relationship between China and the United States, and how the two countries manage it will shape the 21st century.

"It's a simple fact that when the United States and China are not at the table, the solutions... are less possible than when we are at the table," he said.

Emphasizing the importance of cooperation between the two nations, U.S. Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner said at the gathering that both nations' ability to work together is crucial to "the overall health and stability of the global economy."

"Today, thanks in no small part to the actions of the United States and China, we have put out the worst of the financial fires and the world economy is growing again," he said.

Wang and Dai arrived in the U.S. capital Sunday afternoon to co-chair the dialogue with Clinton and Geithner.

The two-day high level dialogue was upgraded from the former Strategic Dialogue and Strategic Economic Dialogue mechanisms, which were initiated in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Both sides are expected to exchange opinions on overall, strategic and long-standing issues in the development of China-U.S. relations, as well as international and regional issues of common concern, in order to enhance understanding, strengthen mutual trust and step up cooperation.

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