China, US expand consensus on climate change at S&ED
Updated: 2009-07-29 10:11

WASHINGTON: China and the United States have expanded consensus and increased mutual understanding on climate change at the first round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) held here July 27-28, a senior Chinese official said here Tuesday.

"The two sides have further increased cooperation on the issue at the dialogue, which is very successful," Xie Zhenhua, vice minister in charge of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planning agency, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview at the sidelines of the dialogue.

At S&ED, Chinese officials have conducted negotiations with their US counterparts on each specific issue on climate change, which led to more mutual understanding, consensus and cooperation, he said.

Both sides agreed to conduct more policy consultations on climate change in the future, so as to help boost comprehensive development of the overall relationship between the two nations, Xie added.

According to him, at the dialogue, China and US officials also agreed to carry out pragmatic cooperation and initiate concrete projects on energy-saving, energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear energy, China's adaptability to climate change as well as related scientific research.

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"I believe the S&ED has served as a great platform for China-US cooperation on climate and global response on the issue, and will play an important role in that aspect in the future," said Xie.

He said the dialogue was very significant because it enhanced the willingness from both sides to expand cooperation on climate change and to increase mutual understanding on the issue.

The US side highly appreciated China's efforts and achievements in response to climate change, and China also gave high remarks for Obama administration's positive adjustments on its climate policy, said Xie.

The both sides recognized that there are huge difference between the two countries in terms of national circumstances, stage of development, historic responsibility and capabilities and agreed that the two nations should pursue active policies on climate change according to their respective responsibilities and capabilities, he said.

Xie said he and US officials believe the prospect for future cooperation is very bright and see great potential for cooperation in many areas.    

Both sides also expressed strong willingness to create new mechanisms for better and more pragmatic cooperation.

Xie added that Chinese and US officials reclaimed their positions to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"China indicated that the Copenhagen Conference must stick to the basic framework of Convention and its Protocol, strictly subject to the mandate of Bali Roadmap and intend to determine the key issue of the mid-term quantified substantial emission reduction targets for developed countries," he told Xinhua.

At the dialogue, both sides agreed to adhere to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," promote the international negotiation in accordance with the stipulation of the Convention and the request of the Bali Action Plan.

They also agreed to work together toward a positive outcome in Copenhagen.

On April 1 this year, Chinese President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart Barack Obama agreed to establish the new bilateral dialogue mechanism of S&ED during their first meeting in London, on the sidelines of the G20 financial summit.

Compared with previous China-US cooperative mechanisms, the S& ED covers a broader range of topics and facilitates more in-depth talks between the two nations.