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 Introductory Remarks by Secretary Henry M. Paulson at the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue


12/13/2006

HP-196

Beijing, China- Good morning. It is a great pleasure to be here for the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. My colleagues and I are looking forward to productive discussions with Madame Wu and the distinguished members of the Chinese delegation. We thank President Hu, Premier Wen and Vice Premier Wu for hosting the first Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing.

The Strategic Economic Dialogue is an opportunity to address important long-term issues that are central to our economic relationship with China while also providing an opportunity to address the most pressing short-term issues. China and the US have a shared economic interest and we look forward to listening carefully to our Chinese counterparts as well as putting forward our ideas and viewpoints. Our discussions will focus on China's successful integration into the global economy and on ensuring that both nations benefit from our growing trade relationship.

Three broad goals will guide our discussions today and throughout the Dialogue.

First we will focus on the importance of maintaining sustainable growth without large trade surpluses. We will consider ways to achieve balanced growth, and talk about the importance of currency flexibility in the short-term and a path to freely tradable currency in the medium-term.

Second, we will emphasize the importance of continuing to open markets to trade, competition, and investment. Within that discussion, we will highlight the importance of the rule of law, including property rights - as well as the importance of transparency in regulations and standards, which are crucial to businesses both domestic and foreign.

And the third main pillar of our discussions will be energy and the environment. The United States and China are the world's leading energy consumers. We are committed to developing the use of cleaner, more abundant energy sources and we will talk about the best ways to do that.

Today with the first meeting of the Dialogue, we are initiating a long-term effort to address strategic economic issues. Our goal is to make progress on pressing needs, while advancing on a number of fronts by laying the foundation for long-term cooperation.

My great thanks to Madame Wu and this group of distinguished Chinese leaders for hosting us in this grand venue. We are very much looking forward to today's discussions.

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