|China, U.S. prepare for new landmark talks|
China and the United States are ratcheting up efforts to prepare for strategic and economic talks this summer as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner continues his visit to Beijing.
"China-U.S. relations show a good momentum of development as both sides have kept close contacts since the new U.S. administration took office," President Hu Jintao told Geithner at the start of their meeting Tuesday afternoon, June 2.
President Hu reviewed his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in London in April when both agreed on building a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship for the 21st century" and launching China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
"As both sides agreed to hold the first round of dialogue in Washington D.C. in July, I hope both will work closely, step up preparation so as to make the dialogue a success," President Hu said in a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
President Hu characterized the dialogue mechanism as "an important platform for both nations to deepen understanding, mutual trust and cooperation."
The strategic track of the dialogue will be chaired by Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while the economic track will be chaired by Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Geithner.
"As influential nations in the world, China and the United States share extensive common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in tackling global economic challenges and resolving the world hot-button issues," President Hu said.
He said China would like to work with the United States to strengthen dialogues at all levels, expand exchanges and cooperation for fresh progress in bilateral relations in the new era.
Geithner, on first visit to China as Treasury chief, said his visit was "a good start" of building bilateral ties and "looked forward to holding the dialogue in Washington D.C."
He hailed bilateral "capacity to work together in global stage" and said he saw "early signs of stabilization of the economies."
Earlier afternoon, Premier Wen Jiabao also met with Geithner in Zhongnanhai, the central leadership's compound near the Forbidden City in Beijing.
"The foremost task for both countries is to work more closely to address the global economic downturn, oppose protectionism in trade and investment, promote reform in international financial system, tighten oversight of international reserve currency so as to ensure the stability and growth of China, the United States andthe world," Premier Wen said.
During his three-day visit, Geithner had a flurry of meetings with China's top economic team, including Vice Premier Wang Qishanand chiefs of commerce, finance, banking and securities, among others.
In an hour-long meeting with Geithner Monday, Vice Premier Wang said, "The major task of our economic dialogue is to address the global economic slowdown.
"We will send a message that China and the United States are cooperating substantively to get over the difficult times, which will help boost confidence, promote global financial stability and economic recovery," Vice Premier Wang said.
Geithner told Vice Premier Wang, "The world is going through an exceptionally challenging period now and I think the world has a huge stake in our two countries working closely together to lay a foundation for recovery."
On Monday in a speech to students at China's Peking University, Geithner said that China's investments in the United States "are very safe. ... We have the deepest, most liquid financial markets in the world."
Geithner also struck a positive note on the global economy, citing the initial signs of improvement.
Earlier Tuesday, Geithner visited Beijing's Capital Museum, which is partly powered by solar energy, generated by panels manufactured by Michigan-based Uni-Solar Company.
Geithner also met with representatives of eight U.S. clean energy companies with branches in China at the museum, pledging to learn from China and other countries to improve energy efficiency.
"The core part of the U.S.-China cooperation will be on the energy part. We expected it to be the central part of the new strategic and economic dialogue we just put in place," Geithner said.
"The world is gonna be watching what we do together as countries in this area, as they are watching us cooperate to help resolve the global recession of financial crisis," he said.
At the end of Geithner's visit, Clinton and Geithner issued a joint statement on the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, saying the first meeting of the dialogue will be held in Washington D.C. "during the last week of July 2009."
They said, "The 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 interest."
Geithner left Beijing on Tuesday evening.