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China, US to Sign 10-year Energy, Environmental Pact

China and the United States will sign a 10-year cooperation agreement on energy and environmental issues during the fourth round of the Sino-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular press conference on Tuesday.

The fourth round of the SED, launched in December 2006, will be held on June 17-18 in the United States. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and US Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson will co-chair the dialogue as special envoys of Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush. Many ministers from the two governments will also attend the SED.

Jiang told the press conference that the SED will have six topics and will focus on issues concerning the comprehensive, strategic and long-term development of Sino-US economic relations.

"China will work with the United States to promote the SED to achieve substantial results, so as to push forward bilateral economic and trade relations and the strategic relationship of cooperation between the two countries," Jiang said.

She elaborated on the issues of the yuan exchange rate and the trade balance between China and the United States.

She said China will continue to promote the reform of the Renminbi rate, which she said was not the cause of China's big trade surplus with the United States.

Bilateral trade in 2007 exceeded US$300 billion. China has become the third largest export market for the United States.

According to trade statistics for 2008, US exports to China grew more than 20 percent while China's exports to the United States grew less than 10 percent.

"We hope the US side would also take effective measures, such as easing export restrictions to China and reducing trade barriers. Actually, the Chinese side is very serious about the US concerns and took some effective measures," Jiang said.

She said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and other departments also organized a delegation that is in the United States to promote bilateral trade and investment.

"The Chinese side has done a lot to promote the Sino-US economic and trade relationship, and we hope the delegation's tour would enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between the governments, agencies and companies of the two countries," Jiang said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2008)

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