BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of
Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, both Chinese Americans,
began their China tour by stressing the importance of cooperation between the
two nations in slowing global warming.
"The Earth is warming in most places because of
greenhouse gases," Chu told about 500 students in the main hall of the
prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing.
In his one-and-a-half-hour speech, Chu elaborated the
cause and possible danger of climate change, appealing the world to shun "a
"Science has shown that we are altering the destiny
of our planet. The consequences of what we are doing today will not be fully
realized for at least 100 years," Chu said.
He suggested China and the United States, the top two
greenhouse gas emitters, should boost cooperation in clean energy sectors such
as carbon dioxide capture and transformation.
"We should continue this tradition of cooperation"
which could set examples for the developed and developing countries, Chu said,
noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Agreement for Scientific
and Technological Cooperation between China and the United States.
"His speech was much longer than we had expected, but
also very specific, statistic-based and persuasive," said Han Fugui, a
post-graduate majoring in building environment.
In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in
China at a downtown hotel in Beijing, Locke also suggested China and the United
States step up cooperation on clean energy.
"We are here to advance what can be one of the most
beneficial areas of cooperation in the history of U.S.-China relations: the
development, production and deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency
technologies," Locke told a luncheon gathering of the U.S. business circle in
Terming clean energy as "the greatest economic
opportunity" of the 21st century, Locke said, "as two of the world's most
productive and innovative economies, the United States and China are uniquely
positioned to create the solar, wind, biofuel and other renewable technologies
that the world want and need."
Locke said that the widespread deployment of energy
efficiency and clean energy technologies is also "the only way our economic can
continue to grow" while preventing the catastrophic effects of climate change.
"As the two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the
United States and China have a special responsibility to take action," Locke
He acknowledged that "countries like the United
States have spent 150 years using coal, oil and other dirty fuel to grow their
economies," but stressed that Mother Nature doesn't discriminate between carbon
that comes from the United States or China, Europe or India.
"Meeting the challenge will require more than just
concerted governmental action," Locke said.
Locke stressed that U.S. companies have considerable
advanced technology that can assist China in its clean energy transition.
"We need to empower U.S. and Chinese entrepreneurs
and innovators to create and collaborate free from artificial trade barriers."
Chu and Locke arrived in Beijing Tuesday afternoon
and were expected to meet Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao during
their three-day visit to China, the homeland of either their parents or
Earlier, they had a flurry of meetings with leading
officials from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Science
and Technology Ministry. They will meet leading officials from the Commerce
Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Industry and Information Technology
Special Report: Fight against Global