President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao have agreed to create a Strategic Economic Dialogue between the United States and China. Reflecting the growing relationship between the U.S. and Chinese economies, this dialogue will occur at the highest official levels and is the first of its kind. Further, it will provide an overarching framework for ongoing productive bilateral economic dialogues and future economic relations. It will examine long-term strategic issues, as well as provide coordination among the specialized continuing dialogues. The Strategic Economic Dialogue will also be a forum for discussing ways the United States and China can work together to address economic challenges and opportunities as responsible stakeholders in the international economic system.
The essential goal of this dialogue is to ensure that the benefits of our growing economic relationship with China are fairly shared by citizens of both countries.
The Strategic Economic Dialogue will convene semi-annually in the United States and China, with the first meeting occurring before the end of 2006. Each of the two Presidents will strongly support and take an active role in the strategic economic dialogue.
President Bush has designated Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson to lead the U.S. side of the dialogue. National Economic Adviser Al Hubbard and other members of the President's Cabinet will join Secretary Paulson. Additional U.S. agencies will include Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, State, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and others. Deborah Lehr will serve as Special Envoy to the Strategic Economic Dialogue to ensure it receives the attention and continuity necessary to produce meaningful results.
President Hu has designated Vice Premier Wu Yi to lead the Chinese side of the dialogue. In that role, she has been given full decision making authority across all aspects of the Chinese economy. To demonstrate the importance of the Dialogue, the Chinese government has created its largest and the highest ranking inter-ministerial working group which Vice Premier Wu Yi will chair, supported by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Finance Minister Jin Renqing, and Deputy Secretary General of the State Council Xu Shaoshi, as well as the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Health, and Information Industries, the various financial regulators, the National Development and Reform Commission, the People's Bank of China and others.
The Strategic Economic Dialogue will help to ensure leaders of the two countries can address critical economic challenges facing their economies, have a forum for discussing cross-cutting issues, and can make the most productive use of the existing bilateral commissions and dialogues. Likely themes of the discussions will include: building innovative societies, seizing the opportunities of global economic integration to assure sustained growth, and the economics of energy and conservation. The United States will also support China in China's goal of building a consumer-driven economy rooted in open markets. The intent of this dialogue is to discuss long-term strategic challenges, rather than seeking immediate solutions to the issues of the day.
The discussion of long-term structural issues in the Strategic Economic Dialogue will provide a stronger foundation for pursuing concrete results through existing bilateral economic dialogues and ensuring citizens of both countries benefit fairly from the growing bilateral economic relationship. The new strategic dialogue will provide support and guidance for these existing bilateral economic forums, which will remain essential to managing specialized aspects of the interdependent U.S.-China economic relationship. These high level discussions will enhance, not diminish these existing forums. Bilateral issues will continue to receive full attention, including pressing China for floating exchange rates, greater intellectual property rights, and increasing market access. Existing economic and related dialogues include: