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China, U.S. stresses progress in economy at S&ED talks


13:10, July 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese and the U.S. officials highlighted progress in trade and investment in their fifth round of annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) which concluded here on Thursday.

"The fifth round of S&ED has achieved tangible fruits on a wide range of areas of long-term, strategic and overarching importance, including China-U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty," China's Vice Premier Wang Yang, one of the two Chinese co-chairs of the dialogue, said at the closing session.

The S&ED is an important platform to deepen bilateral cooperation and properly handle differences, while senior Chinese and U.S. officials got to know each other better during the two-day dialogue, Wang said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who co-chaired the dialogue, said that the dialogue was built on the framework agreed upon by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama at a summit in California last month.

"The mission of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue is to make concrete progress on the issues that matter to each and every one of us, on both sides of the Pacific and beyond," Lew said.

Lew highlighted progress made in discussions concerning economic cooperation, energy, finance and cyber issues, saying "while today's commitments do not resolve all of the concerns of either side, they do represent real progress, progress that will create new opportunities for U.S. workers and companies in an expanding Chinese market."

Earlier in the day, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said here that China and the United States agreed to start the substantive discussions of the China-U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) as soon as possible.

On the strategic track, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, co-chair of the dialogue of the Chinese side, said at the closing session that the two sides discussed issues concerning building a new relationship between China and the United States, advancing mutual trust, cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, climate change and energy security.

Zheng Zeguang, China's assistant minister of foreign affairs, told reporters that the two sides had held candid and in-depth discussions on issues such as Korean Peninsula denuclearization, climate change and cyber security.

They also discussed how to manage their differences and foster beneficial interactions in the Asia-Pacific region, Zheng said.

The two sides also held their first meetings of the working groups on energy security, climate change and cyber security. They identified key areas for future cooperation and expanded their EcoPartnership program with the signing of six new partnerships to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and create jobs.

Confronting climate change will be "a new highlight" of China-U.S. cooperation as the two countries work to create a new type of major country relationship, said Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, on Thursday.

"The successes of our countries depend upon one another," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, who took over from Secretary of State John Kerry to co-chair the meeting, at the closing session.

"Building a more constructive and cooperative relationship between the United States and China is vital to our future and will contribute to a more peaceful, stable and prosperous world," he said.

It is a simple fact that effectively addressing today's international challenges like climate change and nuclear proliferation requires "active and sustained partnership" between China and the United States, Burns said.

China and the United States have been holding the annual S&ED talks since 2009 when Obama came to power, as a major channel of communication to enhance mutual trust, boost cooperation and properly handle differences.

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