Top Chinese and U.S. officials wrapped up their two-day high-level talks on Wednesday in Washington.The two countries made substantial progress in strategic and economic sectors, with over 70 agreements signed on a variety of topics.
During this year’s seventh China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of common concern were covered, including climate change cooperation, denuclearization, rapid responses to humanitarian disasters as well as combating international bribery.
Officials said the talks were “frank” and “candid” and that the steps taken in Washington were invaluable.
“China is ready to work with the U.S., and to develop and make good use of this dialogue mechanism to further promote our exchanges and cooperation, so that the people of both of our countries – and indeed the whole world – can benefit from our exchanges and cooperation,” said Yang Jiechi, Chinese State Councilor.
DEEPENING COOPERATION IN OCEAN PROTECTION
China and the U.S. praised the huge progress achieved in their cooperation in ocean protection, while agreeing to make new efforts to explore opportunities of deepening such cooperation, during a special session on ocean protection.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi called on the two sides to create more channels of communication and increase frequency of dialogues, in order to jointly explore ways of conducting practical cooperation in maritime ecological construction, oceanic environmental monitoring and protection of fishing resources through sharing experiences and complimenting each other’s advantages.
For his part, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. and China should cooperate to tackle the tough challenges in ocean protection and its sustainable development. He added that both countries should play a leading role in ocean protection through cooperation, which benefits not only both countries but also the world as a whole.
In further efforts to address global health issues, China and the U.S. signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Understanding on combating infectious diseases, committing to more cooperation on dealing with global health challenges for the next five years.
At a symposium on Ebola and global health security, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said China sees disease prevention work as highly important. She also said China has responded actively to global epidemic outbreaks, including the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
OBAMA MEETS SENIOR CHINESE OFFICIALS
U.S. President Barack Obama and members of his cabinet welcomed China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue principals, including Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, at the White House on Wednesday.
This high-level meeting will lay some groundwork ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled state visit to the U.S. in September.
Meanwhile, though cooperation was the theme of the majority of the talks, differences have been a source of public tension in recent weeks. Issues such as the South China Sea and accusations of cyber-hacking have resulted in both sides accusing each other of wrongdoing.
“It’s normal that China and the U.S. would disagree during these kinds of exchanges. Economic cooperation is about the exchange of interests. So it would be unusual to not have disagreements. There’s a Chinese saying: ‘Even among brothers, accounts should be settled without ambiguity’, not to mention issues between two countries,” said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang.