By Stephen Kaufman
IIP Staff Writer
July 10, 2013
Speaking at the opening of the 5th U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington July 10, Biden said the annual dialogue between officials in both countries is essential because there is “no more important relationship,” and it serves to build trust between the two countries.
“The dynamic that emerges between our nations will affect not just our peoples but, quite frankly, have a significant impact on the entire world,” Biden said.
“We will have our disagreements. We have them now. But if we are straightforward, clear and predictable with one another, we can find solutions that work for both of us,” he said.
The vice president said the continued growth of China’s economy is good news, but China’s desire to play a greater role in setting global rules must come with new international responsibilities and burdens.
“In 2013, the world’s environment, a rule-based economic order, cannot sustain an exception the size of China. Your country is simply too immense and too important,” he told Chinese leaders.
He said China and the United States will benefit when China frees its exchange rate, shifts to a consumption-led economy, enforces intellectual property rights and encourages innovation.
“History shows that prosperity is greatest when governments allow not just a free exchange of goods but the free exchange of ideas,” Biden said, emphasizing that innovation thrives in open economies and societies. China “will be stronger and more stable and more innovative if it represents and respects international human rights norms,” he said.
Biden said China and the United States have shared security concerns over North Korea and agree that it is important to end the threat from a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons. He said the United States is determined to intensify its cooperation with China to eliminate nuclear weapons from the country.
Secretary of State John Kerry said officials from both sides have gathered in Washington to find common ground and to look for “honest, wide-ranging conversations and ways of cooperating.”
He said it is important for the two leading nations of the world to set an example for success and collaboration between governments.
“When we find ways to strengthen our economic ties, it spurs innovation; it spurs growth; it creates jobs in both of our countries. When we deepen our cooperation on regional and global security issues, it helps all of our people to be safer, and it projects stability across the world,” Kerry said.
In his remarks, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew said that cooperation on common challenges such as climate change, energy, food security and conduct in cyberspace “is absolutely critical to our futures and the world’s future as well.”
China’s economy is undergoing “a systematic transition” that will require fundamental policy shifts to sustain its economic growth, he said.
“These reforms recognize the imperative of shifting to domestic consumption, greater private sector innovation, an economy that’s more open to competition with more flexible prices, including the exchange rate and interest rates, and a more flexible financial system,” Lew said.
The United States has also made reforms to its own economy in the wake of the global recession.
“Five years ago, after the worst crisis in a generation, the United States promised the world that we would address the vulnerabilities in our economy. And we did. We recapitalized and repaired our banks, overhauled our system of financial regulation and jump-started a recovery and private demand,” Lew said.
That has resulted in 40 straight months of economic growth, a recovering housing market and more than 7 million new jobs, and Lew said the United States is “poised for continued strong and broad-based growth.”