Expert: Effective U.S.-China co-op on climate change can increase mutual trust 2009-02-20 20:02:33   Print

    by Jiang Guopeng

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The United States and China can increase mutual trust over long-term intentions through effective cooperation on critical global issues such as climate change, a noted China expert said.

    Although the U.S.-China relationship has made much progress in the past 30 years, mutual mistrust over each other's long-term intentions remains deep, said Professor Kenneth Lieberthal from the University of Michigan.

    But now there is an opportunity for the two countries to increase mutual trust through the cooperation on climate change, Lieberthal said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

    Climate change, together with the global economic crisis, are the two issues on "the very top of the agenda" for Hillary Clinton, who was traveling to China for her visit as U.S. secretary of state.

    The secretary of state will "bring over with her a message" that the Obama administration plans to be a "major force in the direction of addressing global climate change, extremely different from the Bush administration," said Lieberthal, who was a special assistant on national security affairs during the Clinton administration.

    If the United States and China, as the largest developed country and the largest developing country in the world, can figure out ways to cooperate effectively on climate change, he said.

    Such cooperation would yield several important results, including making it easier for both governments to be more effective in promoting climate change measures domestically, he said.

    Secondly, "the effective cooperation will focus on the broader issue of clean energy," he said. "Finally, I think there will have a very good effect on the global negotiations in helping to bridge the differences between the industrialized world and the developing world as a whole."

    "So I think there are a lot of very serious benefits to the U.S.-China cooperation on climate change," said Lieberthal.

    Through full and effective cooperation on clean energy and related climate change issues, "we can build the kind of long-term trust," he said.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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