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Top Chinese legislator confident about future China-U.S. economic co-op
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08:10, September 09, 2009

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Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo said in Phoenix Tuesday that despite the financial crisis he was confident about "the bright future" of the Chinese-U.S. economic cooperation and trade.

"Although no clear signs of world economic recovery have emerged and the long-term impact of the international financial crisis cannot be overlooked, we can be confident about a bright future of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade," said Wu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress.

Wu made the remarks at the one-day U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum which was held in Phoenix. Attending the forum were more than 200 government officials and business representatives from both countries.

Wu Bangguo (R, front), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, meets with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (L, front) in Phoenix of Arizona state, the United States, Sept. 6, 2009.(Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

Wu said such confidence can be based on the following three reasons:

First, the general trend of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade will not change. This can be highlighted by two points.

The first point is: the fact that the Chinese and American economies are mutually complementary has not changed.

For China the largest developing country in the world, the top priority is development. Over the past three decades of reform and the opening-up, China's economy has maintained an average annual growth rate of 9.8 percent. It was able to grow by 7.1 percent even in the first half of this year, and is expected to reach the target of around 8 percent growth for the whole year. The accelerated pace of industrialization and urbanization has generated great investment demand in China, which is at the same time a market of 1.3 billion consumers. China's development and huge market provide an inexhaustible source of business opportunities and impetus for the economic recovery and development of all countries, including the United States.

The United States is the largest developed country and accounts for 18.3 percent of the world's total GDP and 43 percent of the world's consumer market. It has a trade volume unmatched in the world and is an obvious leader in science and technology, human resources, managerial expertise and marketing.

"The complementary nature of our two economies has not been changed by the international financial crisis," Wu stated.

The second point is that the foundation of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade remains strong.

In 2008, bilateral trade amounted to 333.74 billion U.S. dollars, making China and the U.S. each other's second largest trading partners. In the past five years, American exports to China grew by 20 percent annually. Last year, China accounted for 49 percent and 34 percent of American soybean and cotton exports respectively. In cumulative terms, the United States has invested over 61 billion U.S. dollars in 57,000 projects in China. In the first seven months of this year, China and the United States signed 888 technology contracts worth 3.26 billion U.S. dollars, up 41.3 percent year on year. They represents 25.3 percent of the total value of technology introduction contracts signed by China and makes America the largest source of technology for China. Although China-U.S. trade experienced a year-on-year drop in the first half of 2009, the decline is nearly 7 percentage points smaller than that of China's foreign trade as a whole.

"These figures provide sufficient evidence that the China-U.S. economic and trade relationship is one of cooperation and win-win progress, and such a basic pattern has not been changed by the international financial crisis," Wu said.

Second, the economic stimulus plans implemented by China and the United States have created new business opportunities.

To counter the impact of the international financial crisis and maintain steady and relatively fast economic development, the Chinese Government has introduced a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately easy monetary policy and adopted a package plan to further stimulate domestic demand and generate economic growth.

To get out the economic crisis, the U.S. Government has also introduced the biggest economic stimulus package since the 1930s, covering finance, real estate, taxation, infrastructure, the auto industry, environmental protection, energy, science and technology and health care reform, among others.

"The implementation of our respective stimulus plans has offered new business opportunities for economic cooperation and trade between our two countries," Wu said.

Just before the opening of Tuesday's Forum, the two sides signed 41 agreements and contracts on investment and economic and technological cooperation worth a total of 12.38 billion U.S. dollars, involving such areas as new energy and materials, communications, electronics, machinery and tourism, Wu said in his speech.

"This is further evidence of the abundant cooperation opportunities between China and the United States. As long as we work to seek opportunities in this time of crisis, there is a lot we can achieve together," he said.

Third, the economic restructuring strategies of China and the United States will open up new areas of cooperation.

China and the United States are at different stages of economic development, but both face the arduous task of readjustment and are under pressure to adjust their respective economic development models even without an international financial crisis, Wu said.

"The financial crisis, if anything, has only made this task more urgent, " he said.

The U.S. Government wants to adjust the development model while tackling the financial crisis and considers green technologies essential to its efforts to revitalize economic growth, enhance international competitiveness and create jobs. Likewise, China, in its effort to maintain steady and relatively fast economic development, aims to achieve sustainable development while resolving the current difficulties, Wu said.

"We are making great effort to adjust economic structure, upgrade industries and expand domestic demand, especially consumer demand, and transform the economic development model," Wu said.

"As China and the United States restructure our respective economies, we can foster new areas of economic and trade cooperation, especially in the economic and technological fields and between businesses. They may range from low carbon economy, renewable energy, clean energy, clean coal, carbon capture and storage to smart grid, efficient buildings and new energy vehicles," Wu said.

Wu arrived in Arizona on Sunday on the final leg of a three-nation North American tour. He has left Arizona for Washington for a visit in which he is expected to meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


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