The first round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) ended in Washington Tuesday, with the two countries pledging to intensify bilateral ties and expand cooperation on major international issues and shared global challenges.
In a joint press release, the two countries said they had "a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the strategic, long-term and overarching issues concerning the development of bilateral relations" during the two-day dialogue.
"This inaugural round of the dialogue produced positive results and defined the path that will guide the two sides' efforts into the future, " it said.
BROADER BASIS FOR COOPERATION
At a time of continued challenges in international financial markets, and when the international situation was undergoing complex and profound changes, China and the United States "share even more important responsibilities, extensive common interests, and a broader basis for cooperation," the press release said.
Both sides "recognized that China-U.S. relations have maintained strong, positive momentum," it said.
According to the press release, the two sides agreed that increased China-U.S. cooperation not only served the common interests of the two peoples, but also contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
The two sides confirmed that President Barack Obama would visit China this year at the invitation of President Hu Jintao.
Both countries welcomed a recent improvement in military-to-military relations and agreed that the two militaries would expand exchanges at all levels.
The participants also expressed willingness to encourage China-U.S. cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.
The U.S. side said new policies were being developed to expedite visa processing for Chinese citizens -- an area that has hindered many Chinese trying to visit the United States -- and the two sides agreed to maintain close consultation on this issue.
The two sides also discussed ways to enhance mutual understanding and positive cooperation on human rights issues through a bilateral Human Rights Dialogue and other initiatives on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
EXPANDING ECONOMIC, FINANCIAL COOPERATION
The two countries pledged to expand economic and financial cooperation amid the world's worst economic recession in decades.
In the press release, the world's biggest developing and developed countries said the "Economic Track" of the S&ED had "enhanced bilateral communications, and our mutual understanding and trust."
Their cooperation on economic and financial issues was "important to the health of the world economy," the statement said.
They will "respectively take measures to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth in our domestic economies to ensure a strong recovery from the international financial crisis," including measures to increase savings in the United States and the contribution of consumption to GDP growth in China.
Both sides also vowed to work together to "build a sound financial system, and improve financial regulation and supervision."
They reaffirmed a commitment to "more open trade and investment and to fighting protectionism to promote economic growth, job creation and innovation."
"Both sides pledged to cooperate on reforming and strengthening international financial institutions to increase the voice and representation of emerging and developing economies, including China, to ensure adequate financing for development and to respond to future crises," the statement added.
STEPPED UP EFFORTS TO ADDRESS GLOBAL THREATS
The two countries said they faced common challenges and shared common interests in combating global climate change, developing clean and efficient energy, environmental protection and energy security.
The two sides negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, led by the Department of State and Department of Energy in the United States and the National Development and Reform Commission in China.
The MOU aims to promote discussion on domestic strategies and policies for addressing climate change, practical solutions for pursuing the transition to low-carbon economies and successful international negotiations on climate change.
The two sides said they were committed to the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change and to achieving a successful outcome in Copenhagen at the end of this year. The statement also calls for the Framework for 10-Year Cooperation on Energy and Environment (TYF) signed in December 2008, to be carried out.
On the issue of pandemic and infectious disease outbreaks, the two sides expressed their willingness to continue collaboration.
STRONGER COOPERATION ON REGIONAL, INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
The two sides said they agreed to maintain close communication and coordination and work together with the rest of the international community for the settlement of conflicts and the reduction of tensions that trigger regional and global instability.
The two sides noted that traditional and non-traditional security threats were intertwined, and situations in Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and African required combined efforts.
The two sides affirmed the importance of the Six-Party Talks and continuing efforts to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. They emphasized the importance of implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874 and resolving the nuclear issue on the Peninsula through peaceful means.
Both sides pledged to increase coordination to jointly promote stability and development in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They agreed that senior officials from both countries with responsibilities for Iran and the Middle East should continue to consult closely on these issues.
The two sides expressed their willingness to increase coordination and consultation on the issue of Sudan to jointly seek an early and enduring political settlement of the Darfur issue and to promote the peace process between the north and the south of Sudan.
Both sides noted their shared opposition to terrorism and pledged to work collaboratively to strengthen global non-proliferation and arms control regimes. They reiterated their respective nuclear policies and discussed the upcoming 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Conference on Disarmament (CD).
The two sides also discussed the Global Nuclear Security Summit proposed by the U.S. side and reiterated the importance of existing dialogues on security, arms control, non-proliferation and counter-terrorism issues.
They agreed to enhance the bilateral sub-dialogues on policy planning, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Latin America within the Strategic Dialogue framework, with a view to broadening and deepening cooperation on issues of mutual concern.
The two sides agreed to hold the second round of S&ED in Beijing next year.
During the two-day dialogue, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo co-chaired the "Strategic Track" of the dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while Vice Premier Wang Qishan co-chaired the "Economic Track" with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.