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US Congressman: Co-op Is Key Word for 1st China-US S&ED

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Cooperation is the key word for the first round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), said a US congressman on Sunday.

"I think members of Congress want to see the United States and China are cooperating in a number of issues," Rick Larsen, who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan US-China Working group at Congress, said in an interview with Xinhua after a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

The congressman from Washington State noted that cooperation on global economic recovery is particularly important, in which China has played a key role as the largest developing country in the world.

When asked if Congress has any particular expectation on the dialogue from July 27 to 28 in Washington, D.C., he said that his fellows want to see two countries taking some steps moving forward on the climate change, even though there is no agreement signed asa result.

"Most importantly, Congress wants to see this dialogue result in long-term agenda on economic and strategic issues," he said. "Over time, China and the US can work together."

Different from the previous strategic economic dialogue between China and Bush's administration, the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which was established earlier this year by US President Barack Obama's government and the Chinese government, includes two tracks.

The "Strategic Track" of the dialogue will be co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner will co-chair the "Economic Track."

Comparing ways of Bush and Obama administrations' in engaging China in the dialogue, Larsen said that the latter has done "slightly better by bringing all of these issues under one umbrella so they can be talked about all at once."

From addressing economic and strategic issues separately to doing it together, "it is the natural progression of development of relations between the US and China," he added.

He also expressed his confidence in Chinese leaders that they would "accurately and directly communicate" with American counterparts about any concern they have and develop the long-term agenda on cooperation.

"I have full confidence in our administration as well to be clear and direct so we can get cooperation between China and the US on the challenges that are facing us together."

The mechanism of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue was jointly launched by Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Obama during their meeting in April in London, as a way to show elevation of the importance of China-US cooperation under the new historical circumstances.

(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2009)