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Trade & Investment

‘Breakthroughs’ in Sino-US talks


China and the US concluded two days of annual high-level talks in Beijing yesterday by reaching a series of investment and trade agreements which Premier Wen Jiabao described as “major breakthroughs”.

But this year’s strategic and economic dialogue was overshadowed by more than a week of drama surrounding blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng . As the two countries wrapped up the talks, they also defused a potential diplomatic crisis, with Beijing indicating that Chen could apply to study abroad.

A US official said last night that Beijing would “expeditiously” provide a travel document to Chen.

“The Chinese government has indicated that it will accept Mr Chen’s applications for appropriate travel documents,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that Chen had been offered a fellowship by a US university, and could be accompanied by his wife and two children.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said yesterday that Chen might apply to study abroad according to the legal requirements of relevant departments and through the same channels as other Chinese citizens.

Both sides appeared eager to play down the impact of the Chen saga, which started when he fled illegal house arrest in Shandong on April 22. It escalated when he found refuge in the US embassy in Beijing and reached fever pitch when he left the embassy – only to renounce a deal with the central government.

Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said Chen was not on the agenda for the talks, and human rights should not affect Sino-US ties.

Among the economic agreements reached yesterday was China’s pledge to step up structural tax reduction policies, increase the dividend payout ratio of state-owned enterprises, amend regulations to allow foreign investors to hold up to a 49 per cent equity stake in securities joint ventures and provide fair treatment to foreign investors.

Beijing also agreed to expand access to its car insurance market and to negotiate guidelines to regulate export credits.

The US will facilitate the export of civilian hi-tech exports to China and the inclusion of the yuan in the special drawing rights basket of the International Monetary Fund when it meets the criteria, and will streamline approval procedures for Chinese banks conducting business in the US.

The two sides also agreed to a human rights dialogue in Washington next month, to consult on Middle East and Asia-Pacific affairs, and to communicate closely on the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. There will also be a vice-ministerial-level strategic security dialogue.

Co-operation in the areas of law enforcement and climate change will also be stepped up.

President Hu Jintao hailed “the positive results” and appreciated the “excellent work” of both sides, Xinhua reported.

“This dialogue is full of achievement, and I can say they are rich achievements. There are even some major breakthroughs,” Wen said in a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Clinton said the relationship was “stronger than it’s ever been” and should not be derailed by human rights concerns.

“The US and China are trying to do something that is historically unprecedented. To write a new answer to the age-old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet,” she said.

In a briefing after the talks, Clinton said she was encouraged by the Chinese statement that Chen could study abroad. “But let me also add, this is not just about a well-known activist. It’s about the human rights and aspirations of more than a billion people here in China and billions more around the world. And it’s about the future of this great nation, and all nations,” she said.

Shi Yinhong , a US affairs expert at Renmin University, said both countries had tried to avoid letting Chen’s case affect the outcome of the talks. Shi said allowing Chen to study abroad was the easiest option to settle the controversy.

“If Chen remained in China, then the US and Chen himself could someday say his safety was under threat, and this could trouble Beijing,” he said. “The solution reached … could prevent the case from furthering harming bilateral ties.”

On a separate front, the two countries will also hold talks on military exchanges in the United States, with Defence Minister Liang Guanglie leaving for the US yesterday.

Teddy Ng and Ng Tze-wei
South China Morning Post
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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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2 thoughts on “‘Breakthroughs’ in Sino-US talks

  1. Reblogged this on Craig Hill.

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    Posted by Craig Hill | May 7, 2012, 11:23 am

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