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Sino-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues to merge
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11:58, April 04, 2009

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Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met in London on Thursday after the conclusion of the G20 summit to further confirm the establishment of a "double-track" Strategic and Economic Dialogue mechanism (SAED) between China and the US, following up on an announcement made when Chinese President Hu Jintao met US President Barack Obama on Wednesday, prior to the G20 summit.

The dialogue will "focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic interest", a White House statement said earlier.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd R) and U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) meet in London, Britain, on April 1, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

The Strategic Dialogue mechanism, also known as "Senior Dialogue", is presented by the top level to discuss strategic issues such as military, anti-terrorism and climate change, while the Strategic Economic Dialogue, initiated in 2006, mainly serves as a bridge in bilateral economic relations and resolving trade disputes.

Chen Fengying, with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the US-China "cooperation could help stop splits forming between leading and emerging economies".

Meanwhile, China called on the international community to resist protectionism, warning that new trade barriers may cause current stimulus plans to fail.

"In order not to hamper the world's confidence (in economic recovery), all countries should refrain from exercising trade protection measures allowed within the framework of the WTO," Chen Deming, China's commerce minister, said at a press conference on Thursday.

He said China fully endorsed the pledge made by leaders at the G20 summit not to adopt protectionist measures through 2010.

The nations should also safeguard the authority of multilateral trade rules and support the World Trade Organization's efforts to draw up new trade measures in order to prevent the spread of protectionism, he said.

China also hopes that all countries actively push forward the Doha round of trade negotiations.

Chen pledged that China, as a major trading nation, would resist protectionism and oppose efforts to erect trade barriers.

Since the financial crisis began to spread last October, China has suffered from rising trade protectionism, affecting $2 billion worth of Chinese exports, Chen said.

"We have exercised caution in our rescue of some industries, within the framework of WTO," he said, adding that his ministry is only investigating the needs of manufacturers of four products.

China "resolutely" opposes countries that started investigations into the alleged dumping of China-made shoes and iron and steel products.

"We believe in communication and dialogue in resolving trade disputes, but we cannot rule out going to the WTO to seek resolution," he said.

Source: China Daily

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