News / USA

US, China Move Forward on Bilateral Investment Treaty

Trade Tops US, China Talks Wednesdayi
July 11, 2013 10:42 AM
Trade issues topped the opening on Wednesday of strategic and economic talks between the United States and China. As VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, U.S. business leaders say the high-level talks are an opportunity for U.S. officials to push for lower trade barriers.
Related video report by Scott Stearns "Trade Tops US, China Talks Wednesday"
VOA News
U.S. and Chinese officials have agreed to restart negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty - a move hailed by Washington as a "significant breakthrough" that could expand Chinese market access for American investors.
Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng revealed the deal Thursday, on the sidelines of U.S.-China security and economic talks in Washington. Gao did not offer a specific date for the start of negotiations, but he said they will begin as soon as possible.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew praised the agreement, saying it marks the first time Beijing has agreed to negotiate a treaty covering "all sectors and stages of investment with another country."
China and the United States began treaty negotiations in 2008, under former president George W. Bush. But those talks stalled the following year, as President Barack Obama took office.
Beijing had only agreed to participate in the earlier treaty talks if Chinese service sector industries were exempt. U.S. officials say China dropped that demand during current negotiations.
Washington has pushed for such a treaty for years, with U.S. business leaders saying it would expand market access in a country where state-owned companies enjoy many competitive advantages.
A bilateral investment treaty would need approval by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, where many members have been critical of China's widely perceived failures to curb cyber-espionage and protect U.S. intellectual property.
On Wednesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called for China to stop what he called "outright" cyber theft, which experts say has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
China has denied the accusations, saying it is the victim and not the perpetrator of such attacks. It has become more outspoken on the issue since leaks by ex-U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed alleged widespread U.S. cyber espionage on Chinese and other targets.
Secretary Lew, speaking late Thursday, said China has committed to stronger protections for U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets. But he did not offer details.
Biden's Wednesday speech also addressed the sensitive topic of Chinese human rights. He said China will be stronger, more stable and more innovative if it respects international human rights norms.
U.S. officials said Secretary of State John Kerry was "very forceful" during private discussions on human rights, and raised "specific issues" with the Chinese delegation.

You May Like

Video Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

UNICEF: Hidden Epidemic of HIV Among Adolescents

Researchers warn that Asia Pacific nations facing sharp rise in incidence of HIV among adolescents

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Spice Valley Road from: Indiana
July 12, 2013 10:27 AM
I'm sure the Chinese are going to heed Biden's comments. Why doesn't he just say something like, "Hey, we're all on the earth together. Let's just share everything with each other and not worry about who gets what in return. After all, that's only fair. Why should anyone owe more than they can repay?"

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 12, 2013 4:04 AM
I think US should refrain from concerning about South China sea territorial disputes too much because they are mostly the concerns of our Asian coutires and they should be soleved for ourselves, by ourselves.
In Response

by: Samurai from: Japan
July 12, 2013 10:03 AM
Every country behaves only for its own national benefit. So does the USA. However, if the national benefits of USA and other countries coincide with each other, these countries should ally with one another, for example, in order to defend our inherent territories and interests from such a greedy and lawless country as China. Even Japan will have much difficulty in defending its territories alone from China because Japanese nowadays are too peace-addicted.

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
July 11, 2013 9:50 AM
Economic relations with China are important but the US must not forget about human rights. Chinese, Tibetans & Uighurs deserve human rights and the CCP often violates those rights. The US must do more to help improve human rights in China, Tibet & Xinjiang.
In Response

by: Quek from: China
July 12, 2013 12:22 AM
Ridiculously brainwashed foreighners. Unless you've reached there and talked to locals you deserve no rights of condemning so. Tibetans and Uighurs are given priority over us common Hans in many ways. They have privileges instead of being suppressed. The terrorists who slayed common people and attack polices there are described by White House as Uighurs who rise to rebell against central government. Is that true? Ironic, Those innocent common people killed are mostly Uighurs, because they take a more proportion in population than Hans. Chinese government is far too gentle to behave like powerful America who acts as world police and interferes with everything and takes its own advantage.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs