U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson(R) and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan shake hands after signing the U.S.-China 10-year
cooperation agreement on energy and environmental protection during the press
conference at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, June 18, 2008. (Xinhua
WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- China and the United
States signed a 10-year energy and environment cooperation framework here
Wednesday after the two nations concluded their fourth round of Strategic
Economic Dialogue, or SED.
Speaking to reporters before the signing ceremony at
the U.S. Treasury Department, visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said the
deal was "a major achievement of the meeting," which will influence future
bilateral economic cooperation and contribute to the sustainable development of
The framework also highlights the great importance
and strategic influence of the SED mechanism, he added.
U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson said through the framework, "we will address some of the most important and difficult challenges facing our nations and the world today -- energy security, environmental sustainability and climate change."
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (R) listens to the closing remarks by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) at the Strategic Economic Dialogue at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, June 18, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
He said interests of China and the United States in
this area are "very aligned."
"We seek energy security -- which is so vital to our
economic security -- while taking the necessary steps and making the necessary
technological advances to preserve the health of our planet," said Paulson.
"Success in this area will require a sustained
long-term effort by our two countries," he said.
The 10-year energy and environment framework sets goals and lays out steps to expand Sino-U.S. cooperation in this area over a period of 10 years.
There are five initial goals be addressed under the
framework, including clean, efficient and secure electricity production and
transmission; clean water; clean air; clean and efficient transportation;
conservation of forest and wetland ecosystems.
Five joint Sino-U.S. taskforces will be established
to develop action plans focused on concrete cooperation for each goal with the
aim of completing all of these action plans by the next SED.
China and the United States also agreed to explore
the concept of Ecopartnerships as a potential vehicle for implementing goals of
the framework at next round of SED talks.
Wang and Paulson co-chaired the June 17-18 SED
meeting as special representatives of the state leaders of the two countries in
Participants of the talks include minister-level
officials and other senior officials from the two governments.
Aside form cooperation in energy and environment, the meeting also focused financial and macro economic management, developing and protecting human capital, the benefits of trade and open markets and enhancing investment.