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S&ED: For Growth and Reform

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The first round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue that concluded on Tuesday in Washington offered a unique forum to promote understanding and enhance cooperation between the two countries. More importantly, it assured the world that the two countries would together fight the global downturn by coordinating their efforts to boost economic growth and transform growth patterns.

At a moment when the global economy is poised to move out of the crisis and towards recovery, such a strong and shared commitment by the world's largest developing economy and the biggest one is more than needed.

Thanks to massive stimulus measures and aggressive fiscal and monetary policy responses, the Chinese economy is rebounding strongly while the US economy is seeing more signs of green shoots. A GDP growth of 7.1 percent in the first half of this year bears testimony to the resilience of the Chinese economy. There are also indications, in a range of data, that the US economy may stop contracting soon.

However, in face of the worst global financial and economic crisis in many decades, there can be no room for complacency even though counter-crisis measures are in place and having the desired effect.

By making the continuous efforts to stimulate growth as the top priority for bilateral cooperation, Chinese and American policymakers have shown a clear grasp of the severity of the prevalent situation and the uncertainties ahead. It is too early to talk about "exit strategies" before the recovery of the world economy is firmly on track.

Meanwhile, by recognizing the necessity to coordinate the change in their respective growth patterns, the two countries have made clear their resolve to pursue sustainable and balanced global growth.

To cut its trade and budget deficits to sustainable levels, the US must take steps to save more. To rebalance towards domestic demand-led growth, China will increase the share of consumption in its GDP. The increasing interconnection of the two economies means that neither side can get its job done easily without the support and cooperation of the other.

As a reflection of the progress of China-US relations over the past three decades, the two-day Dialogue has highlighted the two countries' shared commitment to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship for the 21st century.

Increased Sino-US cooperation will serve the common interests of the two peoples as well as contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

This inaugural round of the Dialogue has defined the path that will guide the two countries' efforts into the future. There are high expectations that policymakers from both sides will promptly translate shared commitments into concrete measures that can stimulate growth and facilitate structural changes at home while providing a strong impetus to global recovery.

(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2009)