The United States has signaled to China that it welcomes the rise of a confident, peaceful and prosperous China, the Bush administration's top envoy to China said on Tuesday.
"A weak and insecure China is not in America's economic or security interests," Ambassador Alan Holmer said in a speech delivered to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He spoke highly of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), saying the U.S. and China are advancing the bilateral economic relationship by establishing new habits of bilateral cooperation through the framework.
It "helps us signal to China that we welcome the rise of a confident, peaceful and prosperous China," he said.
"We have embraced a broad agenda that covers cross-cutting economic and economically consequential issues" through the dialogue, he said, adding the approach engages multiple and diverse government officials in both countries.
"It breaks down classic bureaucratic stove-pipes that hinder effective communication and impede results," he told the U.S. think tank.
"And that's what direct engagement does: it keeps the relationship on an even keel by lessening miscommunication and dispelling misperceptions so common in the history of the U.S.-China relationship," he added.
Holmer spoke in advance of the third meeting of the SED, to be held in Beijing next month. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will lead a delegation to China for dialogue. The SED was launched by President Bush and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in September 2006.
The SED was not just an event that happens at cabinet-level meetings twice a year, "rather, engagement is continuous, with progress announced throughout the year," said Holmer.
He noted time after time, U.S. government agencies have been able to "draft behind" the momentum created by the framework.
Examples include a new air services agreement, collaboration on energy security and the environment, moving toward more efficient capital markets, and addressing concerns about tainted food and product imports.
"We welcome China into key international financial institutions and are giving China a greater voice in them as well," he said, adding since the initiation of the SED in September 2006, the Bush administration has supported China's efforts to join the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
"We also strongly support a greater voting share for China in the IMF and World Bank," said the U.S. official.
"This new era in U.S.-China economic relations requires new and dynamic ways of doing business. We are meeting these challenges through the creation of the political space and the institutional capacity for long-term stability in our bilateral economic relations," he added.
He urged China to take actions to promote more flexible prices, including a much more flexible, market-driven exchange rate.
Holmer, who was named as special envoy to China and the SED in February, warned that the politics of U.S.-China economic relations are intensely dynamic and sensitive, in both countries.
"The SED is complex international economic diplomacy. We are tackling some of the biggest structural challenges in China's economic future and in U.S.-China relations," he said.
"The economic and geopolitical landscape of the 21st century will be greatly influenced by the way in which the United States and China work together. That emerging future requires a distinct vision and effective mechanisms to achieve it," he told the Washington-based think tank.
"By establishing new habits of cooperation, the SED has allowed both the United States and China to begin to write the next chapter of our strategic economic relationship," said the U.S. senior official.
Over the past five years, U.S. exports to China have grown from18 billion to 52 billion U.S. dollars, while U.S. imports from China have grown from 102 billion to 287 billion dollars, according to U.S. data.