Friday, March 13, 2009

China-US Cooperation: The Way to Recovery

The environmental impact of China's prodigious growth often obscures the Chinese government's comprehensive efforts to manage the economy and the environment. China is a leading proponent of close cooperation and Green stimulus spending, the very things needed to manage the global economy and slow our assault on the world's environment. The coordinated government response advocated by China has already yielded dividends according to some early indications of recovery. To underscore the point, world stocks jumped today on stimulus news from China/Japan and the US rally.

During an address to the American business community yesterday President Obama reaffirmed his ambitious plans to address global warming through increased alternative energy supplies while imposing a market-based cap on pollution. Yesterday as President Obama addressed the American business community and reaffirmed his support of free enterprise, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was delivering a speech entitled "Broaden China-U.S. Cooperation in the 21st Century," here are some excerpts of that speech:

"Let me say that the [US and China] share the view that the upcoming meeting between our two presidents in London is of great significance for China-U.S. relations in the new era. Both sides are committed to pushing forward this vitally important relationship between our two countries. The tremendous progress of China-U.S. relations goes well beyond what those who were most optimistic about this relationship 30 years ago have ever expected.

[I]n the 21st century...mankind faces major opportunities and challenges....I for one believe the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in our major and unique responsibility of maintaining world peace and stability. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and as the world's largest developing country and largest developed one respectively, China and the United States have maintained close consultation, coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation in many international affairs. We have worked together to manage complicated and tough regional hotspot issues, fight terrorism, proliferation and transnational crimes, meet global challenges such as climate change, energy and the environment and undertake necessary reform in the international system based on justice and equity. One can hardly find an area where China-U.S. cooperation is not needed. Comprehensive cooperation in the global sphere has tied our two countries and peoples to each other.

I for one believe the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in our ever expanding common interests in promoting sustainable economic development in the world. We live in a world where countries are more interdependent with their interests more closely interconnected than at any time in history. At a time when the international financial crisis continues to spread and develop, the primary common interest of China and the United States is to weather the storm together like passengers in the same boat and support each other to get through the tough times and emerge from the crisis victorious. We should make due contribution to bringing about a new round of world economic growth. Even when the train of world economy drives into fairly smooth areas one day, there will still be the need for China and the United States, the two big engines, to jointly push it forward on a continuous basis.

I for one believe the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in the longstanding friendship and mutual-learning between our peoples... Each day, over 5,000 people travel across the two sides of the Pacific Ocean. Ever closer exchanges and interaction between people of our two countries contain enormous energy and have far-reaching impact. They will make people better appreciate the fact that the world is a diversified place, human civilizations are colorful and all countries should live in harmony.

In the face of the profound changes in the international landscape and mounting global challenges, China and the United States have a new historic opportunity for the development of their relations. Our two countries shoulder greater responsibilities for world peace and stability, have more common interests and enjoy broader prospects for cooperation.

Exchanges, cooperation and mutual benefit should be the defining features of the 21st century. Gone should be the days when countries competed at the expense of each other's interests under a zero-sum mentality because those who preach such a competition approach and model are bound to be the biggest losers today. China and the United States should and can set an example in achieving win-win progress and making greater joint efforts for an even better world.

To advance China-U.S. relations in the new era, we should adopt a strategic and long-term perspective and keep the relations on the right track. Mutual respect means that we should respect international law and norms governing international relations, view each other in an objective and sensible way, respect each other's choice of development path and core interests, and refrain from doing anything that may harm each other's sovereignty, security or development interests.

The priority for China and the United States at the moment is to tackle the international financial crisis through intensified cooperation and work together to maintain and promote world financial and economic stability.

Let me in this connection say a few words about what China will do to counter the financial crisis this year. The Chinese government will focus on the implementation of a 4 trillion RMB yuan (585 million U.S. dollars) investment program, including 1.18 trillion yuan (173 million dollars) that will come from the central budget. This program will kick-start growth by boosting domestic demand, reinvigorating industries, developing science and technology, and improving the social safety net. Some of these measures have already produced initial results, as evidenced by the recent signs of economic recovery. We will issue more than 5 trillion yuan (732 million dollars) of new loans to help enhance financial regulation and support economic growth with adequate money and credit supply. We are confident that we will maintain steady and relatively fast economic growth this year.

We have been following closely measures taken by the U.S. government to stabilize financial markets and stimulate economic recovery. We sincerely hope these measures will achieve the desired results and restore the U.S. economy to growth soon. This is in the interest of the United States, China and the rest of the world.

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, China and the United States have engaged in close and effective communication and coordination, and played an important part in the international efforts to tackle the crisis. China is ready to strengthen macroeconomic policy dialogue with the United States, work with you to oppose protectionism, and make fresh contributions to the stability of international financial markets and growth of the world economy. We also want to work with the United States and other countries for positive outcomes at the London G20 summit on the basis of the achievements of the Washington summit. In times of hardships, it is all the more important for China and the United States to broaden and deepen bilateral trade and economic cooperation, properly handle possible frictions and differences and forge a strong bond to weather the crisis.

China and the United States share important common interests with respect to climate change, energy and the environment. Energy security, clean energy, energy conservation and pollution reduction feature prominently in our respective national development strategies. China stands ready to strengthen dialogue and consultation with the United States, pursue practical cooperation in energy conservation, new energy and renewable energy, and work with other parties under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" to ensure the success of the Copenhagen conference scheduled for the end of the year.

China and the United States should build sustained, sound and stable relations, as this not only serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, but also contributes to world peace, stability and development. The development of China-U.S. relations has proven time and again that China and the United States are partners for cooperation, not adversaries or enemies. Cooperation brings benefits to both countries, while confrontation hurts both sides. Some Americans often say, "It is through cooperation, rather than conflict, that your greatest successes will be derived." So let us join hands and work together for a splendid future of China-U.S. relations."

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