The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue is now officially under way. In this round, the two countries have expanded the agenda to include top level military exchanges. Above are opening remarks by Secretary Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo from the “Strategic Track” (foreign policy). Clinton named a laundry list of initiatives China and the U.S. are already making progress in. Dai brought forth the idea of a growing power and an existing super power needing to accommodate each other for the sake of world peace. (See my prior post, “Peaceful rise, the biggest international relations issue of our life time” where we discussed Dai’s Op-Ed on peaceful development.) In order to understand the outcome of this meeting, I have decided to boycott U.S. media’s reporting and bypass their spin. Transcript follows.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo
Loy Henderson Auditorium
May 9, 2011
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. We are delighted to have this expanded meeting on a number of critical issues, and it is, for us, an opportunity to continue deepening and broadening the very cooperative, comprehensive efforts that we’ve undertaken in these Strategic and Economic Dialogues. We want to sustain momentum from the work and direction of our two presidents, and we have a lot of ground to cover this afternoon.
I think it’s important to highlight the issues that we will be discussing – climate change, where we greatly appreciate the work we have done together and how we must build on the Cancun agreements reached last December to demonstrate the progress we can make when we proceed in a determined, pragmatic manner with each of us showing leadership and moving beyond ideology. We want to follow through on the Green Fund that was agreed to in Cancun, set up a climate change technology center and network, and write the guidelines for a new regime of transparency and accountability. If the United States and China can work together, then we can make a giant step toward fulfilling the agenda and making the next UN climate meeting in Durban, South Africa a success.
We also, when it comes to energy, have many reasons to cooperate and many opportunities as well. Our policy decisions and practices as the two largest producers and consumers of energy in the world have major impacts on world markets. We’ve achieved substantial progress on the seven new U.S.-China clean energy initiatives started during President Obama’s visit to Beijing in November 2009, including the Electric Vehicles Initiative, the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, and the Shale Gas Resource Initiative, and we’ve achieved real progress at the most recent meeting in April of the Ten Year Framework on Energy and Environmental Cooperation.
I think that the policy choices which we have made on critical energy security issues, including promoting open and efficient markets and dealing with potential oil supply emergencies and the safe expansion of nuclear energy, are especially timely for us to address. We believe on the American side that it is our shared responsibility during this dialogue to work toward creating the roadmap that our respective governments will use to continue building on solutions that give real specificity to the positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship that our two presidents have directed us to pursue.
Let me now invite State Councilor Dai to make some brief opening remarks, and then we will move to the first subject to be addressed.
COUNCILOR DAI: (Via Interpreter.) I’m very happy to see so many friends to join us here. The fact of so many people at present shows the importance of this relationship. Just now, we heard from Madam Secretary that our cooperation is really all-encompassing. It is found in each and every area. And our cooperative partnership is growing very robustly and vigorously. And first of all, if I may, I would like to begin to say some of my observations of how to understand and approach China-U.S. cooperative partnership.
President Hu paid a successful state visit in January to the U.S. this year, ushering in a new stage of building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. And people may have different views as to how to understand and approach this relationship. I think at least we can say the following.
First, China and the United States have entered a new stage of being partners of each other. At the beginning of the century, the relationship between our two countries vacillated between that of two rivals or two friends, leading to ups and downs in the relationship. After adjustment and adaptation, our top leaders have decided that we are going to build a cooperative partnership and wrote this down in a political document governing bilateral ties and set it as our national policy. This answers the question how we should view and deal with each other. And it is, I believe, is of great historic significance for the growth of bilateral ties.
Second, we have entered a new era of comprehensive and cooperative relations. After 40 years of development, our cooperation has reached unprecedented breadth and depth. The level of our interest intersection is such that we are inseparable from one another. And I believe such interdependence will only grow. As the international situation undergoes profound and complex changes, we will share broader common interests and shoulder more important common responsibilities. The handling of various complex and thorny issues in the world today needs our cooperation and coordination more than ever. The building of our cooperative partnership reflects the reality and the trend of our comprehensive cooperation and acknowledges our relationship as one of growing strategic relationship at the bilateral, regional, and the global levels.
Third, we are experiencing a new pattern of harmonious coexistence and the mutually beneficial cooperation between major countries. In the history of international relations, the relationship between an emerging country and an established power is often fraught with zero-sum game, malicious competition, or violent conflicts, bringing numerous disasters to mankind. The fact that we are working together on a cooperative partnership is initial proof that our two countries have the wisdom and ability to break the previous pattern and blaze a new path of major power relations featuring openness, inclusiveness, benign interactions, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Whether we can succeed in developing and advancing this pattern bears on the welfare of our people and mankind as a whole.
Okay, so much from me. Thank you.