Lew: China, US have much at stake

Updated: 2015-06-24 12:04

By Amy He and Chen Weihua in Washington(China Daily USA)

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China's success in sustaining growth and enacting reform will matter not only to China, but to the US and the global economy as well, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday.

"Both of our countries are managing new challenges and seeking to reach new opportunities. We have an enormous stake in each other's economic success. And we each have a strong interest and a joint responsibility to foster a constructive bilateral relationship and to pursue policies that support the global economy, ensure a level playing field for our firms and workers and uphold the global economic and financial architecture," he said.

Lew called for continued reform and development of China's financial sector during remarks made at the first day of the 2015 China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Washington.

Vice-Premier Wang Yang said that both sides have been "working hard to make dialogue productive," adding that it's important that the two countries discuss economic cooperation and manage differences that exist between the two.

Lew commended China for giving banks more flexibility to set savings rates, increasing transparency of China's reserve holdings and foreign exchange market operations, and intervening less with the exchange rate, but said that China should continue its reform efforts.

"Providing foreign financial institutions with greater access will promote capital market development, as well as promote competition and efficiency, increase funding available to innovative firms, and boost households' access to a broader range of financial products," he said.

Wang said that it's natural that there will be differences in the economic relationship, but that continued dialogue is needed.

"This will send a positive signal to the markets and create more business opportunities for companies. It is natural that there are some differences in the economic relationship. Economic cooperation is a give-and-take, so how can there be no difference? It is easy to disagree over economic matters even between two brothers, and I guess that's even more true between two countries," he said.

Although China has "never expected to address each and every problem through a single dialogue," these dialogues have proven to be an important platform for economic cooperation, he said, as China and the US' continued economic cooperation has benefited companies and citizens of both countries.

Speaking in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon after the first session of the S&ED economic track dialogue, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said the two sides have a profound exchange of views on issues such as macroeconomic policy, structural reform and global economic governance.

The Chinese side has emphasized the importance of China-US cooperation in tackling the risks in the global economy, he said.

Lou hoped that the US as the world's largest economy would take stronger measures to promote the global economic recovery, adding that while China and the US have contributed 40 percent of recent global growth, China has accounted for 30 percent of that.

Lou said the two sides also talked about the "new normal" of Chinese economic policy, noting that the quality and sustainability of growth is more important than the growth rate.

The Chinese finance minister believes that structural reforms are fundamental to achieving sustainable global growth.

The Chinese government has done a lot in this regard, such as in deregulation by abolishing many project approval measures, eradicating many government interventions in pricing and encouraging the free flow of production factors and conducting taxation reforms, according to Lou.

He said China also hopes the US will also strengthen its structural reform, such as in increasing saving rates and turning those savings into investment, especially in innovation.

As host of the 11th G20 summit next year, China will promote structural reform and global economic governance, according to Lou.

"Strengthening cooperation and dialogue between China and the US, the world's two largest economies, is crucial in ensuring strong and sustainable growth of the global economy," he said.

Contact the writers at amyhe@chinadailyusa.com and chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com.

Lew: China, US have much at stake

(China Daily USA 06/24/2015 page1)