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China, UK conclude first economic, financial dialogue with broad consensus
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07:54, April 16, 2008

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China and the United Kingdom (UK) convened their first-ever economic and financial dialogue in Beijing Tuesday, in which they reached consensus on facilitating bilateral investment and cementing joint efforts to solve international problems including climate change.

Wang Qishan, Chinese vice premier and special representative of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and Alistair Darling, British Chancellor of the Exchequer and special representative of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, co-chaired the deputy-prime-minister level dialogue.

Both sides conferred on three topics in a "friendly", "frank" and "pragmatic" atmosphere, namely, the situation of current international economy and finance, respective economic and financial policy, and the opportunities and challenges of financial services cooperation, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The countries are in favor of market openness, trade and investment liberalization, and against protectionism, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. They agreed to expand investment and civil high technologies trade, promote an all-round and balanced development of goods and service trade, and push forward progress of the Doha Round negotiations.

The British side promised to continue their push for EU's early recognition of China's market economy status, and welcomes Chinese sovereign wealth fund to invest in the UK.

China welcomed British financial organizations to expand their business in central and western China and rural areas, while the UK expressed its willingness to offer convenience for Chinese banks to explore business in the country, the statement says.

Both sides were concerned about the violent turbulence of the international financial market triggered by the fall of the dollar, the lowering of interest rates and the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States. They agreed to enhance cooperation among financial supervision departments and jointly promote the improvement of international finance supervision system.

Meanwhile, the two countries also reached consensus on cementing cooperation in combating climate change, expanding technical transfer and pragmatic cooperation in the areas of energy and environmental protection.

Addressing the occasion, Wang said China and UK, as the largest developing country and an important developed country, share vital responsibilities in facing up to the challenges of economic globalization.

China will unswervingly implement its reform and opening-up policy, and is ready to enhance dialogues with the UK to push forward bilateral all-round strategic partnership, Wang said.

Darling said the UK appreciated China's reform and opening-up policy, and is willing to step up consultations with the country and expand cooperation in bilateral as well as international economic and financial fields.

The dialogue mechanism was set up in January during Gordon Brown's China trip. The second dialogue is scheduled to be held in Britain next year.

Source: Xinhua

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