US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue - May 9, 2011

On Monday, May 9, 2011 U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo to the third annual US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. Over the course of two days, Geithner and Wang will discuss economic issues while Clinton and Dai will discuss strategic issues.

Read here remarks from Geithner and Wang; what others are saying about the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue; and get a bit of history on these kinds of meetings between the U.S. and China since the two countries normalized trade relations in the late 1970s.

Contents

Overview of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Video of the Opening Session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)

Remarks by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Opening Session

Highlights of Remarks by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan at the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Economic Track Opening Session

Remarks by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Economic Track Opening Session

US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue Videos

History of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

 

Overview/What is the US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue?

The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was established by President Obama and Chinese President Hu in April 2009 and represents the highest-level bilateral forum to discuss a broad range of issues between the two nations. The Dialogue is an essential step in advancing a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship between the two countries.

The dialogue mechanism was upgraded from former Strategic Dialogue and biennial Strategic Economic Dialogue, which were initiated by the two heads of state in 2005 and 2006, respectively.  The Strategic & Economic Dialogue includes Strategic and Economic tracks and takes place annually in alternating capitals. 

Two rounds of the two-track dialogue have been held, the first one in Washington in July 2009 and the second one in May 2010 in Beijing.  In this third round, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will co-chair the "Strategic Track" of the dialogue with U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan will co-chair the "Economic Track" with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, each as a special representative of their respective presidents.

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Video of the Opening Session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – beginning to 10:54
  • Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan – 10:55 to 15:55
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner – 16:30 to 20:50
  • Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo – 21:15 to 27:10
  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden – 27:40 to end

Source: U.S. Department of State


Remarks by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Opening Session

5/9/2011

As Prepared for Delivery

“Together with Secretary Clinton and all my U.S. colleagues, I would like to welcome Vice Premier Wang, State Counselor Dai, and the distinguished Chinese delegation to Washington for this third meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED).

“When the S&ED first met in Washington two years ago, President Obama said, “The United States and China share mutual interests. If we advance those interests through cooperation, our people will benefit and the world will be better off – because our ability to partner with each other is a prerequisite for progress on many of the most pressing global challenges.”

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“We have worked carefully and deliberately since then to demonstrate that basic truth. And our economies are stronger today because of the commitment of President Obama and President Hu to deepen our economic relationship, even as we each confront significant economic challenges at home.

“I want to compliment Vice Premier Wang for his leadership in this joint effort. He is a tough and forceful defender of China’s interests. He focuses on the practical and the achievable. And he recognizes that China’s economic success depends on a growing world economy and a strong relationship with the United States.

“When President Obama and President Hu launched the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the world economy was in the grip of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

“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.

“Because of the success of the cooperative strategy we launched with the G-20, world trade is expanding, not contracting, companies around the world are investing and hiring, and fears of deflation have receded.

“We still face very significant, though very different types of, economic challenges.

“In the United States – even after a year and a half of positive economic growth and more than two million private sector jobs created – unemployment is still very high, and we still have a lot of work to do in repairing the damage caused by the crisis.

“Our challenge is to strengthen the foundations for future economic growth. This requires a sustained effort to improve education and improve incentives for innovation and investment, even as we put in place the long term fiscal reforms that force us once again to live within our means as a nation.

“In China, building on the remarkable reforms of the last 30 years, the challenge is to lay the foundation for a new growth model, driven more by domestic demand, with a more market based economy, and a more sophisticated financial system.

“The reforms we must both pursue to meet these very different challenges are not in conflict, and the strengths of our economies are still largely complementary.

“And we each recognize that our ability to work together is important to the overall health and stability of the global economy.

“As President Obama has said, “no one nation can meet the challenges of the 21st century on its own, nor effectively advance its interests in isolation.”

“There’s a Chinese saying that eloquently reflects this same wisdom – ‘有福同享 有难同当 – Share fortunes together, meet challenges together.’

“We are making progress, and I am confident we will continue to do so.”

Source: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1167.aspx

 

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Highlights of Remarks by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan at the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Economic Track Opening Session

5/9/2011

As reported by Xinhua

  • "This year is a historic year of historic importance for U.S. - China relations," said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan at the economic track opening session of the third round of U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) which kicked off here in Washington DC.
  • "The world economy is now slowly recovering, but the situation is still complicated and fraught with uncertainties.  At present, ensuring strong and sustainable recovery of the world economy remains the top priority for all countries.”
  • Wang said that China hopes the U.S. side will take credible steps to relax high-tech export controls vis-a-vis China, recognize China's market economy status, accord fair treatment to Chinese companies investing in the United States, and refrain from politicizing economic and trade issues.
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  • As the biggest developing country and biggest developed country, Chinese and the U.S. economies enjoy strong complementarity and vast potential of cooperation, the Vice Premier added.
  • Wang said that China and the U.S. play very important roles in the global economy, however, either in terms of hard power or in soft power, there are big differences between the two sides.  The key of global economic recovery still lies with the U.S., Wang said.
  • He said that as two important members of the Group of 20, the U. S. and China need to strengthen coordination and cooperation and gradually and effectively advance the reform of global economic governance structure. At the same time, the two sides must strike a good balance among "strong, sustainable and balanced growth."
  • Wang stressed that to deal with the global economic imbalance is a long term process and the two sides need to fully accommodate each other's concerns and deliver real benefits to their people through concrete results from the dialogue.

 

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Remarks by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Economic Track Opening Session

5/9/2011

As Prepared for Delivery

“We have set the agenda for these meetings to cover the most important economic challenges ahead of us – from trade and investment issues to energy and financial reform.

“Our primary goal is of course to strengthen and sustain the global economic recovery.  To that end, our core priorities are as follows:

  • “First, we will continue our dialogue on China’s move towards a more flexible exchange rate with more open capital markets.
  • “Second, we look forward to discussing financial sector reforms that will more efficiently and effectively finance China’s most dynamic firms, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and put more money in the pockets of Chinese consumers.  
  • “And third, we will work to build on the commitments made by President Hu and President Obama to begin building a more level playing field – so that firms and workers in both our nations can compete in each other’s markets across the major sectors of trade between us – whether agriculture, manufacturing , energy, or advanced technology.

“We hope to continue to make progress on the protection of intellectual property rights, the promotion of technological innovation without discrimination against foreign firms, and the expansion of investment opportunities for both our nations.

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“Vice Premier Wang and members of the Chinese delegation, we now begin the economic part of our discussions.

“We meet against the backdrop of a gradual improvement in the overall global economic outlook.

“As always, we face new risks and challenges.

“Over the next two days, we will have a chance to discuss the opportunities for closer economic ties, to address areas of concern between us, and to share perspectives on the major challenges facing each of us at home as well as in the broader global economy.

“Overall, I believe we are making significant progress in strengthening our economic relationship.

“Over the past two years, we have seen very promising changes in the overall direction of Chinese economic policy – towards a more flexible exchange rate, a growth strategy less reliant on exports, and stronger protections for U.S. companies operating in and exporting to China.

“We have worked closely together to build a more effective global financial system, with reforms to make our financial systems more stable and with stronger tools to prevent and respond to future financial crisis.

“And in the United States, we are working very hard to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis, to reform our financial system, and to restore fiscal sustainability.

“We have set the agenda for these meetings to cover the most important economic challenges ahead of us – from trade and investment issues to energy and financial reform.

“Our primary goal is of course to strengthen and sustain the global economic recovery.  To that end, our core priorities are as follows:

  • “First, we will continue our dialogue on China’s move towards a more flexible exchange rate with more open capital markets.
  • “Second, we look forward to discussing financial sector reforms that will more efficiently and effectively finance China’s most dynamic firms, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and put more money in the pockets of Chinese consumers.  
  • “And third, we will work to build on the commitments made by President Hu and President Obama to begin building a more level playing field – so that firms and workers in both our nations can compete in each other’s markets across the major sectors of trade between us – whether agriculture, manufacturing , energy, or advanced technology.

“We hope to continue to make progress on the protection of intellectual property rights, the promotion of technological innovation without discrimination against foreign firms, and the expansion of investment opportunities for both our nations.

“These meetings are very important to improve the level of understanding we each have of our respective economic priorities, to improve trust and confidence between us.  We share an obligation to demonstrate to the people of China and the United States that we can continue to make progress.

“I look forward to our discussions.”

Source: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1168.aspx

 

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US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue Videos

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History of the US-China Economic Dialogue

It’s enlightening to look back at discussions between the U.S. and China over the last three decades since the countries re-engaged economically.  Listed below is a historical perspective (1996-2011) on U.S. Treasury Department speeches, remarks, and meetings as they relate to US-China economic relations. It’s clearly a one-sided perspective, but interesting nonetheless.

To begin with some very interesting historical perspective, also see Treasury Secretary Blumenthal arrives for 9-day China visit ­(February 25, 1979) and Kreps is optimistic on trade pact (May 22, 1979) and China trade policy: sell (May 23, 1979) and Chinese-American textile talks reach impasse (May 26, 1979).

  • 08/09/1996  – Treasury Releases Interim Foreign Exchange Report                
  • 11/10/1996 –Statement on U.S.-China Joint Economic Committee        – Secretary Robert E. Rubin
  • 05/07/1997 – Hong Kong’s Pivotal Role in Shaping China’s Future – Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers – Hong Kong Trade Development Council, New York City         
  • 06/05/1997 – Remarks at the U.S. China Business Council –Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin – Washington, DC     
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  • 09/26/1997  – Remarks at the People’s University –Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin – Beijing, China     
  • 10/23/1997 – Expanding Trade Through Fast-Track Will Raise American Incomes
  • 05/26/1998 –11th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Economic Committee – Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin and Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng – Washington, DC        
  • 04/09/1999 – Signing of the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement between China and the United States – Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin      
  • 09/10/2001 – Speech to University of International Business and Economics – U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – Beijing   
  • 09/11/2001 – 14th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Economic Committee – U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill and Chinese Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng – Beijing           
  • 10/10/2001 – Prepared Remarks before The National Foreign Trade Council – Treasury Secretary O'Neill         
  • 10/15/2001 – 2001 Annual Foreign Exchange Report
  • 04/18/2002 – Keynote Address on Globalization: Spreading the Benefits –Treasury Secretary O'Neill
  • 09/09/2002 – 15th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Economic Committee – U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill and Chinese Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng – Washington, DC
  • 11/12/2002 – Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies
  • 05/06/2003 – Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies
  • 05/11/2004 – Statement – John B. Taylor, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs – Beijing, China
  • 06/01/2007 – China Investment Forum – Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs Clay Lowery – New York
  • 06/19/2010 – Statement – Secretary Geithner

My biggest takeaway from these is that, even in 1979, many of the “talking points” in policymakers’ speeches (both American and Chinese) are very similar as they are today.  What are your takeaways?  Share your thoughts below.

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