China and the United States have agreed to work together to help alleviate the effects of the global financial crisis. The two countries also touted environmental cooperation, at a just-concluded round of high level economic talks.
China and the United States just completed the fifth round of the so-called Strategic Economic Dialogue, which has been held twice a year since 2006.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who led the US delegation, said the two days of meetings were productive and straightforward. In his closing comments, Paulson announced one of the concrete results of this round.
"To support trade flows during this period of financial turmoil, the US and China announced today that our two Export-Import Banks will make available an additional $20 billion for trade finance, particularly for creditworthy importers in developing countries," said Paulson.
This amount will support an eventual $38 billion in annual financing from the United States and China to help global trade.
Another result was strengthened Sino-American cooperation on conserving energy and protecting the environment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Steve Johnson gave details.
"We have now in place, not just a vision, but we put in place five action plans, covering areas such as clean air and clean water and conservation, clean electricity production and transportation," Johnson said. "And we've added a sixth task, an action plan for energy efficiency."
This is the last such meeting under the Bush administration. The head of the Chinese delegation, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, said he hopes President-elect Barack Obama will keep the high level exchanges going.
Wang says the Chinese side looks forward to continue what he called a "candid and pragmatic dialogue" with the new U.S. administration.
The Chinese official said China and the United States have become interdependent, and that better Sino-American cooperation is good for the whole world.