The recently concluded fourth round of the
China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) produced a
wide range of positive outcomes.
Sixty-seven agreements were reached during the
talks, jointly headed by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, State
Councilor Dai Bingguo, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, on issues such as trade,
investment and financial cooperation.
Trade relations have always been one of the
main focuses of the talks. As a result of the dialogue, China has
pledged to continue the reform of its exchange rate regime and
improve the business environment for U.S. companies based in China.
The United States will speed examination and approval procedures
for Chinese financial institutions investing in the United States.
It also agreed to relax restrictions on civilian technologies and
hi-tech exports to China.
The two sides also sought common ground on
other contentious issues. They affirmed their support for
establishing the China-U.S. Maritime Safety Dialogue Mechanism and
holding its first dialogue this year. Another round of consultation
on Asia-Pacific affairs and a human rights dialogue is scheduled
later this year. They also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula
situation, Iran's nuclear program, Syria and Sudan-South Sudan
More importantly, China and the United States
agreed they must work together to forge a new type of power
relationship centered on peaceful coexistence, benign competition
and mutual benefit. This could be the most significant outcome yet
achieved through the platform.
The new type of relationship will not be
immune to differences or even conflicts of interest between China
and the United States, which have different political systems,
cultural backgrounds and development levels. But these should not
hinder cooperation nor should a single incident or individual
affect the overall relationship. The incident involving Chen
Guangcheng, a self-taught blind lawyer who entered the U.S. Embassy
in Beijing in late April and later tried to seek education in the
United States, is one such example.
The S&ED is one of the mechanisms that
facilitate the cooperation between the world's biggest developed
nation and the world's biggest developing nation. Since its
establishment in 2009, the talks have contributed to business
cooperation. In the meantime, it has worked to dispel distrust and
sought common ground between the two nations. With joint efforts
planned across the Pacific, the scope and influence of the dialogue
will continue to increase.