Vice Premier Wang Qishan
Washington, D.C., 28 July 2009
The Honorable Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury,
It gives me great pleasure to co-chair with Secretary Geithner the Economic Dialogue under the framework of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues.
At present, the worst part of the international financial crisis is behind us, but many uncertainties and destabilizing factors still remain, and the global economic recovery still faces grave challenges. At this critical moment, strengthening cooperation between China and the United States is of great significance to boosting confidence to overcome the crisis and to restoring economic growth in our two countries and the whole world.
It was agreed at the dialogue that the central task of stronger China-US economic cooperation is to tackle the international financial crisis and achieve a firmly-established economic recovery. The two sides will have in-depth discussions on agreed topics and work to expand common ground and achieve more outcomes.
Restoring economic growth. Stimulating economic growth is still the top priority for China-US cooperation. At present, the Chinese economy is stabilizing with increasing positive factors. The US financial markets are also stabilizing with positive signs in its economy. We hope the United States will speed up repairing the functions of its financial markets and achieve economic recovery at an early date so as to continue to play an important role in driving world economic growth. The two sides should strengthen exchanges and cooperation, keep our macroeconomic policies in the right direction, properly ensure their implementation, promptly improve the policy measures and promote steady and sound economic growth.
To maintain sustainable economic growth, both China and the United States need to transform economic growth patterns. While ensuring growth, the Chinese government focuses on expanding domestic demand, consumer demand in particular, deepening reform and opening up, advancing economic restructuring, and ensuring and improving people's livelihood. We endeavor to strike the right balance between the growth rate and the requirements in terms of structure, quality and returns. The progress we have made in response to the financial crisis shows that in times of contracting external demand, China has every condition and capability to drive economic growth through expanding domestic demand. The United States is also advocating a transformation of economic growth patterns. But it will not be easy for either China or the United States to transform economic growth patterns, since it involves many areas, such as way of life, savings and consumption, distribution of income, education and healthcare, employment and social security, and calls for unremitting efforts over time. I hope our two sides will increase cooperation in these areas. The root cause for current economic imbalances within individual countries, among countries and regions is uneven development. Therefore, it is essential to achieve sustainable economic growth in countries, regions and the world at large. Meanwhile, against the backdrop of surging economic globalization, the international community should make concerted efforts to narrow in real earnest the development gap between the North and the South and attach more importance to the interests of developing countries, in particular least developed ones.
Deepening financial cooperation. The ongoing international financial crisis proves once again that maintaining financial stability, guarding against and dissolving risks is the eternal theme in the development of the financial sector. We must properly handle the relationship among financial innovation, openness and regulation. China and the United States are at different stages in terms of the development of financial markets and institutional innovation. China's financial sector is still at a primary stage of development with inadequate innovation. While ensuring financial security and stability, we will deepen financial reform, open the financial sector wider, improve financial regulation and comprehensively enhance the financial sector's capacity to serve economic growth. China and the United States have great potential for financial cooperation. I hope the two sides will increase exchanges, deepen cooperation and jointly build a strong financial system.
Raising the level of economic cooperation and trade and improving its quality. With the deepening of economic globalization, Chinese and US economies are increasingly interdependent. Facing the current difficulties, the two sides should all the more work together to overcome the difficulties and jointly maintain the growth momentum in our trade and investment. China's measures to expand domestic demand will give a great boost to world economic growth. We will increase imports from the United States and we hope the United States will relax its restrictions on exports of high technologies to China. The two sides should actively move forward the negotiations on bilateral investment agreement. We hope the US side will give equal treatment to Chinese enterprises investing in the United States and ensure the safety of Chinese assets in the United States. The two sides should also make use of the opportunities brought by the industrial restructuring to strengthen our cooperation in such new industries as new energy and bio-technology so as to foster new areas of cooperation. We believe the United States should recognize China's market economy status as soon as possible and we call on both China and the United States to refrain from introducing any protectionist policy measures in keeping with WTO rules.
Strengthening coordination and cooperation on international economic and financial issues. What's most important now is to further implement the consensus reached at the G20 summits in Washington and London and work together to make good preparations for the third G 20 summit to be held in Pittsburg. China has always taken a responsible stance. We have taken an active part in international cooperation to tackle the financial crisis through purchasing the IMF bonds, signing currency swap agreements and carrying out cooperation in trade finance. As a major global reserve currency issuing country, the United States should bear in mind the impacts of dollar supply on its domestic economy and the world economy, properly handle this issue and strike the right balance. We are ready to increase coordination and cooperation with the US side and make joint efforts with the rest of the international community to advance reform of the international financial system, resolutely oppose protectionism in all forms and work for an early success of the WTO Doha negotiations on the basis of locking up existing achievements. The international community, developed countries in particular, should continue to honor their commitment to provide assistance to developing countries and ensure the attainment of the UN MDGs as scheduled.
I am confident that with concerted efforts of both sides, the China-US Economic Dialogue will be a full success and continuously move forward China-US relations from a fresh start.
Thank you all!