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China has a growing say in talks: expert
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09:01, July 30, 2009

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· China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue
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China and the US displayed greater maturity but made no significant breakthroughs except in new energy cooperation in the first round of their Strategic and Economic Dialogue, according to Chinese experts.

At a joint press conference attended by four representatives of both countries, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the two-day dialogue that ended Tuesday in Washington was "unprecedented" in enhancing bilateral relations, gathering the most high-level leaders, discussing an "unparalleled" range of issues and establishing "a new pattern of cooperation" between the two countries.

The two sides confirmed that President Barack Obama will visit China this year at the invitation of President Hu Jintao.

On the economic track, led by US Finance Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, the world's biggest developed and developing economies pledged to take measures to promote "balanced and sustainable" economic growth in their domestic economies to ensure a "strong recovery" from the international financial crisis.

On the strategic track, led by Clinton and China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo, the two countries agreed to work closely as the world's top two carbon emitters to seal a new global treaty on climate change at December's UN conference in Copenhagen.

The nations signed a "memorandum of understanding" that 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 biggest feature of this dialogue is the atmosphere, which is the more harmonious compared with that of the previous five bilateral strategic economic talks," said Niu Xinchun, a researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, adding that no groundbreaking outcomes were achieved through the dialogue.
"It is undeniable that the US has changed its attitude toward China, which is a positive sign," Niu said.

Friction and conflicts that remain in the bilateral relations have been sidelined by a common aspiration to survive the financial crisis and to seek cooperation in the field of energy, according to Niu.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, noted that one major characteristic of the dialogue was a more mature attitude shown by both delegations.

Shi noticed that both countries seem more pragmatic than before. "Both sides tried to downplay those issues that they can't find feasible solutions for," Shi said.

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