Wang, Yang make the rounds in DC

Updated: 2013-07-15 11:24

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)

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Wang, Yang make the rounds in DC

From left: Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada; Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang; Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia; and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, pose for a photo at the Senate on July 12. Wang, who was in the US to co-chair the 5th China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Washington on July 10-11, paid a visit to the Senate. Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire, also attended the meeting. Chen Weihua / China Daily

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who co-chaired the 5th round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), wasted no time in implementing the consensus reached by both sides to enhance high-level exchanges.

On Friday morning, Wang met with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman, both of whom just took office in late June.

Wang said that the S&ED July 10-11 had achieved its expected outcome. Both sides had reached consensus on a number of key issues, such as entering a substantive stage of negotiation on a bilateral investment treaty.

Wang, who assumed his post in March, said both sides should redouble their efforts in implementing the consensus from the dialogue.

"China hopes to take the S&ED as a fresh start to further expand consensus and narrow differences and to elevate China-US economic relations to a higher level," Wang said.

Froman and Pritzker praised the S&ED as a great success. They said that the goodwill on both sides in resolving problems and boosting cooperation had laid a solid foundation for further bilateral economic and trade cooperation, including the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) session to be held later this year.

The outcome document of the S&ED's economic track, which was made public on Friday, said China and the US recognize that a bilateral investment treaty that sets high standards, including openness, non-discrimination, and transparency, would be important to both sides.

It also said that after nine rounds of technical discussions, China would enter into substantive BIT negotiations with the US.

The same morning, Wang went to the Capitol Hill to meet a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada; Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona; Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia and Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican from New Hampshire.

Their talk touched on a wide range of economic and security issues, such as cyber security, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Iran's nuclear program, and Syria.

That same day, State Councilor Yang, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the US, met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the Pentagon.

Yang said China will continue to strength military-to-military exchanges with the US in order to increase strategic trust and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculations.

Hagel echoed Yang's words, saying the US will earnestly implement the consensus reached at S&ED and the one by the two heads of state in Sunnylands, California, a month ago to deepen dialogue, exchange and cooperation with the Chinese military and to increase mutual understanding and trust and push forward a bilateral military relationship.

The outcome document from the strategic track of the S&ED, also made public on Friday, identified 91 areas for further cooperation, including a commitment to strengthen the military-to-military relationship and to make efforts to raise the relationship to a new level.

It reaffirms the visit to the US by China's Minister of National Defense in 2013 and a reciprocal visit to China by the US Secretary of Defense at a mutually convenient date in 2014.

Both sides also decided to actively explore a notification mechanism for major military activities and to continue discussions on the rules of behavior on military air and maritime activities, including at the next Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) plenary.

Also on Friday, Yang met US National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Yang said that the consensus reached by Presidents Xi Jinping and Obama to build a new type of major-country relationship has pointed a clear direction and mapped out a blueprint for a bilateral relationship. Rice, who took office on July 1, said that President Obama and the US government are committed to the promise of developing relations with China. She also expressed her satisfaction at the outcome of the S&ED.

Last Thursday, Obama met Wang and Yang in the Oval Office, during which Wang delivered a letter from President Xi, who expressed his confidence in the prospect of China-US relations. That same day, Wang met with US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

(China Daily USA 07/15/2013 page1)