China, U.S. to launch Asia-Pacific affairs consultation

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Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said here on Tuesday that China and the United States agreed to launch consultation on Asia-Pacific affairs to further promote sound interrections between the two nations in the region.

He made the remarks at a press briefing during the third round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) that wrapped up on Tuesday in Washington.

"It would be inappropriate for China and the United States to talk about cooperation at global level without cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. We do hope the launch of this mechanism will further promote sound interreactions between our two countries in the Asia-Pacific region so that we can together make positive contributions to the peace, stability and development of the region," said Zhang.

As for the participants and coordinators of the consultation on Asia-Pacific affairs, Zhang said that it would be leading officials from relevant departments from the Foreign Ministry on Chinese part and the State Department on U.S. side.

He added that the frequency of the consultation will be decided at the very first round of the Asia-Pacific consultation, which " will not be a long time from now to launch," he said. Zhang noted that within the framework of the strategic dialogue, China and the U.S. also held the strategic security dialogue, a support of the mechanism of strategic dialogue, to enhance mutual understanding, to build mutual trust, to explore cooperation and to narrow differences. "There is a need for both sides to have such kind of platform to discuss and exchange views on major strategic issues of mutual interest, to avoid misinterpretation and miscalculation on the strategic intention of the other side and to explore possible communication, consultation and mutually beneficial cooperation in some areas. The consultation on Asia-Pacific affairs is also in this spirit," Zhang told Xinhua.

Zhang said that both U.S. and China had in-depth exchange of views on four topics during the strategic dialogue, namely, to build cooperative partnership between the two countries, to further enhance mutual strategic trust, to promote the sound interections and beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the Asia -Pacific region, and to step up China-U.S. cooperation in regional and international issues.

"Both sides agree that the key to develop China-U.S. relations in the new era is to deepen mutual trust, increase high level exchanges, shoulder responsibilities and to tackle challenges," he said.

In addition, he added, relevant departments of the two countries also held bilateral meetings on issues of mutual interest and had consultations on climate change, the environment cooperation, peace keeping, the Sudan issue, etc.. Both countries will release a list of more than 40 outcomes for the strategic dialogue.

"This fully demonstrates the depth and width of China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation and this will translate into the real benefits of the two peoples," Zhang said, adding that the strategic dialogue "has been successful".

China and the U.S. wrapped up the two-day China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) on Tuesday following comprehensive and productive discussions. The third round of S&ED was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

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