United States, China Create Strategic Economic Dialogue

By Jane Morse
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - The United States and China have created an overarching, bilateral framework to review economic issues between the two countries.

In a September 20 statement announcing the creation of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, President Bush said that he and China’s president, Hu Jintao, had discussed the “importance of maintaining strong and mutually beneficial U.S.-China economic relations" and the need to establish such a framework.

Bush said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson would chair the U.S. side of the dialogue with support from Allan Hubbard, the director of the National Economic Council.  Deborah Lehr will serve as Paulson's special envoy to the dialogue.

In China, Vice Premier Wu Yi and Paulson, who is visiting China September 19-22, also announced the creation of the new dialogue structure.  Paulson is expected to meet with President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit.

In a joint statement released in China September 20, both sides said the dialogue would "focus on bilateral and global strategic economic issues of common interests and concerns.” According to the statement, representatives from China and the United States intend to meet twice a year in alternate capitals.

The statement also says that existing bilateral dialogues and consultation mechanisms - such as the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the Joint Economic Committee, and the Joint Commission on Science and Technology - will remain unchanged and will “continue to play their positive and important role in promoting U.S.-China economic and trade cooperation.”

“The economies of the United States and China have been engines of global growth," Bush said.  "We must ensure that citizens of both countries benefit equitably from our growing economic relationship and that we work together to address economic challenges and opportunities.”

For more on U.S. policy, see The United States and China and Trade and Economics.

The full text of President Bush’s statement is available on the White House Web site. The full text of the joint statement is available on the Treasury Web site.