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China-US S&ED Opens in Washington 

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The China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), the first of its kind between the world's biggest developing country and biggest developed country, opened in Washington on Monday.

On behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao and invited by US President Barack Obama, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo participated in the opening ceremony in Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, D.C..

In a congratulatory message to the opening ceremony of the dialogue, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that both China and the United States shoulder important responsibilities on a host of major world issues.

Addressing the opening session of the dialogue, Obama said that the relationship between the United States and China "will shape the 21st century."

That reality makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world, he said. "That reality must underpin our partnership. That is the responsibility we bear."

Obama will meet with the Chinese delegation after the session.

In her opening remarks, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that economic recovery is "critical" to everyone, adding that many global issues are "within reach if we work together."

To give prominence to the dialogue and the importance of US-China relations, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said at the opening ceremony in Mandarin Chinese that "when you are in a common boat, you need to cross the river peacefully together."

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the U.S State Department, Dai will co-chair the "Strategic Track" of the dialogue with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while Wang will co-chair the "Economic Track" with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, each as a special representative of their respective presidents.

Chinese and US officials will hold a joint press conference and respective briefings to announce results of the dialogue.

During their stay, Chinese officials will also meet with US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Yifu Lin, congressmen and other officials.

Wang will deliver a speech at a banquet to be hosted on Tuesday evening by the National Council for US-China Trade and the National Committee on US-China Relations.

The dialogue mechanism was upgraded from former Strategic Dialogue and biennial Strategic Economic Dialogue, which were initiated by the two heads of state in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Following the opening ceremony of the dialogue, officials of China and the United States will have a face-to-face plenary session before the strategic track of the S&ED to be held at the State Department Building while the economic track will first be held in Ronald Reagan Building before moving to the Treasury Department Building.

The two-day dialogue will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic and economic interests.

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2009)