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US hi-tech products may flow in
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08:38, July 30, 2009

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The US has agreed to loosen restrictions on the export of hi-tech goods to China and speed up its recognition of the nation's market economy, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said on Tuesday after the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED).

"The US pledged to facilitate exports of high-technology products from the US to China," he said, while calling the SAED a "full success".

Sino-US trade has grown massively since China "opened up" 30 years ago. Last year - in spite of a seven-year low in China's rate of growth because of the global financial crisis - the volume of trade between the countries amounted to $333.7 billion. The number was $2.5 billion 30 years ago.

However, despite the massive volume of trade, the US suffers from a significant trade deficit with China and has blamed China's "undervalued" yuan for the fact that more goods flow from China into the US than in the other direction.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (L) meets with China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Washington July 29, 2009. (Agencies)

Analysts have said the reluctance of the US to export hi-tech products is partly to blame and noted that unrestricted sales of hi-tech goods would help balance bilateral trade.

Wang said China and the US agreed to "accelerate" the implementation of the Guidelines for China-US High Technology and Strategic Trade Development and formulate the Action Plan on Expansion of China-US High Technology and Strategic Trade Cooperation in Priority Sectors, which analysts say will encourage the export to China of hi-tech goods.

The US also recognized the "continued progress" China has made in its pursuit of market reforms and will "earnestly" consider its concerns, and work toward its market economy status being acknowledged in an "expeditious" way, US officials said.

Deputy Minister of Commerce Ma Xiuhong said both sides were conscious of the solid progress China had made in transitioning from a planned economy to a market-oriented one in the past 30 years.

"We still have some hurdles (to clear) we need (more) in-depth discussions," she said.

Calling the US position "positive", Ma said she hoped the issue would be resolved "within a short time".

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (L) and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo greet each other at a dinner after the first meeting of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, July 28, 2009. (Agencies)

Wang, who co-chaired the Economic Track of the talks with US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, said the nations agreed to oppose protectionism and increase the representation of developing countries in the decision-making of major international financial institutions.

China and the US will also hold regular exchanges, to talk about how they are dealing with financial issues and working for a global recovery.

At the SAED talks, China and the US reached consensus, or minimized the differences between them, on issues including economic rebalancing, climate change and regional security, laying the foundation for future cooperation.

The nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on climate change and energy cooperation and issued a joint statement, mapping out their achievements.

The dialogue has "lent fresh impetus to the development of a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship", Wang said.

Analysts praised the talks.

"The relationship with China is one of the most important global relationships for the US now and in the years ahead," said US-China Business Council President John Frisbie. "It is hard to imagine either country succeeding economically or on key issues, such as climate change, without constructive and cooperative ties."

Steve Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, said: "I applaud President Obama and President Hu's decision to continue and expand dialogues into the Strategic and Economic Dialogue."

Source: China Daily

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