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 Remarks by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) Opening Session


Department of Interior

As Prepared for Delivery

Together with Secretary Clinton and all my U.S. colleagues, I would like to welcome Vice Premier Wang, State Counselor Dai, and the distinguished Chinese delegation to Washington for this third meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED).

When the S&ED first met in Washington two years ago, President Obama said, “The United States and China share mutual interests. If we advance those interests through cooperation, our people will benefit and the world will be better off – because our ability to partner with each other is a prerequisite for progress on many of the most pressing global challenges.”

We have worked carefully and deliberately since then to demonstrate that basic truth. And our economies are stronger today because of the commitment of President Obama and President Hu to deepen our economic relationship, even as we each confront significant economic challenges at home.

I want to compliment Vice Premier Wang for his leadership in this joint effort. He is a tough and forceful defender of China’s interests. He focuses on the practical and the achievable. And he recognizes that China’s economic success depends on a growing world economy and a strong relationship with the United States.

When President Obama and President Hu launched the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the world economy was in the grip of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Today, thanks in no small part to the actions of the United States and China, we have put out the worst of the financial fires and the world economy is growing again.

Because of the success of the cooperative strategy we launched with the G-20, world trade is expanding, not contracting, companies around the world are investing and hiring, and fears of deflation have receded.

We still face very significant, though very different types of, economic challenges.

In the United States – even after a year and a half of positive economic growth and more than two million private sector jobs created – unemployment is still very high, and we still have a lot of work to do in repairing the damage caused by the crisis.

Our challenge is to strengthen the foundations for future economic growth. This requires a sustained effort to improve education and improve incentives for innovation and investment, even as we put in place the long term fiscal reforms that force us once again to live within our means as a nation.

In China, building on the remarkable reforms of the last 30 years, the challenge is to lay the foundation for a new growth model, driven more by domestic demand, with a more market based economy, and a more sophisticated financial system.

The reforms we must both pursue to meet these very different challenges are not in conflict, and the strengths of our economies are still largely complementary.

And we each recognize that our ability to work together is important to the overall health and stability of the global economy.

As President Obama has said, “no one nation can meet the challenges of the 21st century on its own, nor effectively advance its interests in isolation.”

There’s a Chinese saying that eloquently reflects this same wisdom – “有福同享 有难同当 – Share fortunes together, meet challenges together.”

We are making progress, and I am confident we will continue to do so.

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