China, US start high-level talks

CNC report from Washington
Added On July 11, 2013

The fifth round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue has started in Washington.

In the two-day event, leading officials from both countries are discussing a wide range of topics covering major bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern.

CNC correspondent Mike Kellerman is there covering the talks. Now he brings us more details about the dialogue.

"The dialogue kicked off here at the US State Department with talks on climate change and energy, and over at the US Treasury Department, Chinese and American negotiators talked about how to make the two economies work much better together. In his opening remarks at the opening session, Secretary of State Kerry said its urgent now that the United States and China work together, and cooperate."

The opening session of the S&ED was held on Wednesday.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden noted the two countries have their disagreements, but mutual trust can help them find solutions.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JOE BIDEN, US Vice President: 0:02:15
"We have to know what each other is doing... The truth is we have a common interest in defending a wide interest of international rules that will only grow more compelling as china looks beyond its borders."

Secretary Kerry said the two countries have made the S&ED a key mechanism for managing cooperation and competition.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JOHN KERRY, US Secretary of State:  0:03:08
"We also recognize the urgency of China and the United States finding common ground, bringing together counterparts from across our governments to look for honest, wide-ranging conversations and ways of cooperating."

Co-hosting the dialogue with Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the S&ED is a place where the two nations can make real progress.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JACK LEW, US Treasury Secretary:  0:04:26
"We're cooperating to address the challenges that we face, identifying common interests where we can, and directly addressing our differences."

China's Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, acting as special representatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressed the opening session.

Wang said the U.S. and Chinese economies are increasingly interconnected. Dialogue is better than confrontation and is important for both countries.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) WANG YANG, Chinese Vice Premier: 0:05:43
"China is the world's largest developing country; the United States the largest developed one. The importance of our relations have gone far beyond the bilateral scope and acquired a global significance. Good cooperation between China and U.S. can serve as an anchor for world peace and stability and an engine for prosperity and development."

Yang said the dialogue now stands at a new starting point as the two nations have come together to explore a new type of relations between major countries.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) YANG JIECHI, Chinese State Councilor: 0:06:34
"Under the new situation, S&ED has taken on new missions and tasks. Vice Premier Wang, my colleagues and I have come here to implement the agreement reached between our presidents and advance the new model of major country relationship between our two countries."

By the end of the day, both sides signed a document pledging stricter carbon emission rules, joint monitoring greenhouse gases, increasing energy efficiency and creating smart power grids.

After the opening session, Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of China's economic planner National Development and Reform Commission, held a press briefing.

He said climate change will be "a new highlight" of the China-U.S. cooperation in their building a new type of major-country relationship.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) XIE ZHENHUA, National Dev't and Reform Commission:
"I think the measures that we have taken are working in the same way. Climate change cooperation will lay a political foundation and become a highlight in our bilateral relationship. We have great potential and broad market in the sector".

Xie said a working group on climate change, which was initiated after the visit of Kerry to China in April, has identified five priority areas including promoting smart grids to step up bilateral cooperation.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) XIE ZHENHUA, National Dev't and Reform Commission:
"Only by honoring the commitments and fulfilling the obligations can we lay a solid foundation for political mutual trust. In negotiations, we should also follow basic principles of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to try to reach a new agreement in 2015. This should be the objective of working groups of both countries."

China and the U.S. have been holding the dialogue each year since 2009.

It has come to be a major channel of communications to enhance mutual trust, boost cooperation and properly deal with differences to prevent them from derailing the general relations.