On May 3, 2012, as the Fourth Round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&ED) was being held in Beijing, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi received a media interview on the dialogues.
Q: Please introduce the origin of the S&ED and its importance to the overall China-U.S. relations.
A: The S&ED was jointly initiated by President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama in 2009 and covers issues related to the overall, strategic and long-term development of bilateral relations. The establishment of the S&ED reflects the breadth and depth of the China-U.S. relations and the foresight of leaders of the two countries. The first three rounds of the S&ED were very fruitful and the two sides reached many important consensuses. For example, China and the United States should become partners instead of rivals, should engage in win-win cooperation rather than hostile competition and should respect each other rather than undermining each other's core interests and major concerns. The two sides issued a joint press release, two lists of concrete results of the strategic dialogue, three joint fact sheets of the economic dialogue and the China-U.S. Comprehensive Framework for Promoting Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and Economic Cooperation. Altogether 225 concrete results were achieved. The four special representatives initiated such flexible means of communication as irregular calls and small-scale meetings and created the strategic security dialogue and Asia-Pacific affairs consultation mechanism under the framework of the strategic dialogue. Those efforts have paved the way for the two heads of state to make the strategic decision of jointly building a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and played a unique and important role in promoting the development of China-U.S. relations and high-level strategic communications.
The S&ED witnessed the extraordinary course of China-U.S. relations over the past three years. During the three years, China-U.S. relations in general maintained stable development. President Hu and President Obama paid state visit to each other successfully and held altogether 11 meetings. They reached important consensus on the development of the bilateral relations and brought the bilateral ties to a new historical stage of jointly building the cooperative partnership. Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress visited the United States in 2009 and Premier Wen Jiabao held four meetings with President Obama. Both events were highly productive. Earlier this year, Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States significantly pushed forward the China-U.S. cooperative partnership. Although during this period of time the China-U.S. relations experienced some ups and downs and were still faced with the problems of Taiwan, trade frictions and human rights that need to be handled properly, cooperation has always been the mainstream of China-U.S. relations and the bilateral ties have remained stable in general and moved forward constantly.
The current international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. China and the United States, as two major powers in the world, should continue to maintain the stable development momentum of bilateral ties, which not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also meets the expectation of the international community. It is in this context that the Fourth Round of the S&ED is held. It is held at an important timing and has far-reaching significance. China expects through this S&ED to further implement the important consensus between the two heads of state to build the China-U.S. cooperative partnership and promote the stable development of China-U.S. relations this year and in the long run.
Both sides attach great importance to the S&ED. This morning, President Hu attended the joint opening session and delivered an important speech. He raised key initiatives on promoting the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and developing a new type of relationship between major powers, pointing out the direction for this round of the S&ED. President Obama also sent a written message. President Hu, Premier Wen and Vice Premier Li Keqiang will meet with the key members of the U.S. delegation respectively tomorrow. Vice President Xi will meet with the two U.S. special representatives and attend the welcome dinner tonight.
President Hu's special representatives Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo will preside over the S&ED together with President Obama's special representatives Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. They will then co-chair the economic and strategic dialogue respectively.