As prepared for delivery
WASHINGTON - It is a pleasure for me to join Vice President Biden and
Secretary Kerry in welcoming Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Yang, and the
entire Chinese delegation to Washington for this fifth meeting of the Strategic
and Economic Dialogue. I am pleased that Secretary Kerry could make it back and
I know everyone joins me in wishing Teresa a speedy recovery. It also is
nice to be back among so many friends in the familiar halls of the State
Department. I also offer my condolences to the families and friends of
the two Chinese students killed in Saturday’s tragic plane crash in San
Francisco – the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers.
We meet at a time when the
citizens in both of our countries are looking to their policy makers to advance
policies that lead to greater prosperity, equity, and opportunity. Major
economies like ours are consistently challenged to reform and adapt, and to
strengthen institutions. We know this from our own experience recovering
from the financial crisis. And you know this from your own on-going
transition to the next stage of your economic development.
Five years ago, after the worst
crisis in a generation, the United States promised the world that we would
address the vulnerabilities in our own economy. And we did – we
recapitalized and repaired our banks, overhauled our system of financial
regulation, and jumpstarted a recovery in private demand. As a result of
these bold policy actions, our economy has grown for 40 straight months and we
are poised for continued strong and broad-based growth. Our businesses
have created more than 7.2 million jobs and our housing market is
recovering. But we also have more work ahead of us: our top priority is
to grow our economy and create good, middle-class jobs.
In China, your economy is
undergoing a systemic transition where significant and fundamental shifts in
policy will be required to sustain growth in the future. We welcome the
market-oriented reform commitments you have made. These reforms recognize
the imperative of shifting to domestic consumption, greater private sector
innovation, an economy that is more open to competition with more flexible
prices – including the exchange rate and interest rates, and a more efficient
Now, while we each must guide our
economic futures by expanding the middle class of our nations, what we each do
domestically matters enormously for the other. Yes, our economies are
inter-connected. But what matters is ensuring that our economies are
growing in a way that is balanced, beneficial, and mutually compatible.
As the world’s two largest economies, too much is at stake for us to let our
differences come in the way of progress.
For the United States, this means
an economic relationship where our firms and workers operate on a level playing
field and where the rights of those who participate in the global economy –
including innovators and the holders of intellectual property – are preserved
and protected from government-sponsored cyber intrusion.
It means working together to
address our common challenges such as climate change, energy and food security,
and conduct in cyberspace. Cooperation on these fronts is absolutely
critical to our own futures and to the world’s as well.
As our two Presidents have made
clear, we are cooperating to address the challenges that we face, identifying
common interests wherever we can and directly addressing our differences.
The Strategic and Economic Dialogue is critical to generating practical
cooperation on issues across our relationship and a place where we can make
This dialogue brings together the
key decision-makers from both countries to address the critical issues that we
both face. It has led to important, tangible results for both sides, and
I am confident that we will continue to make concrete progress.
During our discussions, I will
encourage China to follow through decisively on the important commitments it
has made to transition to a more balanced and sustainable pattern of
growth. This transition will be critical to China’s success, and it will
be consequential to the world economy.
Moving forward, I think there is
much we can achieve together. And therefore I encourage us to work
diligently, cooperatively, and sincerely as we address the challenges that we