At the Fourth Round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) May 3-4, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, special representative of President Barack Obama, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, special representative of President Hu Jintao, chaired the Strategic Track, which included participation from senior officials from across both governments. The two sides held in-depth discussions on major bilateral, regional, and global issues and reviewed progress over the four rounds of the S&ED in deepening strategic trust and advancing President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao’s shared vision for building a U.S.-China cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. The dialogue on the Strategic Track produced the following specific outcomes and areas for further cooperation. The United States and China:
I. Promoting High-Level Exchanges
1. Reviewed President Barack Obama’s meeting with President Hu Jintao on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, the successful reciprocal visits of Vice President Joseph Biden and Vice President Xi Jinping, and other high-level engagement since the last round of the S&ED. The two sides noted that upcoming meetings such as the G-20 Summit and the East Asia Summit provide further opportunities for high-level engagement.
II. Bilateral Dialogues and Consultations
2. Held the second round of the China-US Strategic Security Dialogue (SSD) and had candid and in-depth exchange of views on issues relating to the strategic and comprehensive security of the two countries. The dialogue was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on the U.S. side and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun on the Chinese side , who were joined by Acting Undersecretary of Defense James Miller, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA Ma Xiaotian and others from the relevant departments of the two countries. The two sides commented positively on the role of the SSD and decided to continue working together to develop the mechanism to increase mutual trust and manage differences between the two countries and look forward to holding another round next year.
3. Decided to hold a fourth round of the U.S.-China Asia-Pacific Consultations in the second half of 2012. Acknowledging our common interests and challenges in the region and shared goal of maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity, the two sides decided to further implement the program to carry out multilateral cooperation in such areas as food security, urban search and rescue, and disaster relief capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region reached by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the ASEAN Regional Forum in 2011.
4. Affirmed their commitment to continuing constructive bilateral dialogue on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect and decided to hold the bilateral Human Rights Dialogue in Washington, D.C., in summer 2012.
5. Noted the conclusion of the bilateral Legal Experts Dialogue in Beijing in April 2012 and confirmed their intention to hold the next round of the Legal Experts Dialogue in the United States in 2013.
6. Held the Policy Planning talks on the margins of the fourth round of the S&ED. The two sides decided to hold a U.S.-China consultation on Middle East affairs at a time and place to be decided. The two sides further decided to hold the next round of sub-dialogues on Policy Planning, Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Central Asia on a regular basis and to enhance bilateral coordination and cooperation on regional and international issues.
7. Reaffirmed their intention to enhance communication and cooperation on major international security and other nonproliferation issues on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit. The two sides decided to hold the next rounds of the Security Dialogue and the Nonproliferation Dialogue on dates to be decided by both sides.
8. Decided to work to deepen and improve law enforcement cooperation to address issues of mutual concern. Both sides welcome the efforts of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation (JLG) to achieve these objectives and will seek to arrange reciprocal visits to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and Public Security University, as well as other agencies and institutions, to improve information exchange. Both countries have decided to hold the tenth session of the JLG in the fall in China, and prioritize cooperation in intellectual property enforcement, fugitives, human smuggling, repatriation, cybercrime, counternarcotics, anti-corruption, legal assistance, and retrieving illicit funds.
9. Affirmed their support for the establishment of the U.S.-China Maritime Safety Dialogue Mechanism between the U.S. Coast Guard and the China Maritime Safety Administration and to hold the first dialogue this fall in China, in conjunction with a visit by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
10. Noted that the fourteenth U.S. - China Joint Commission meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation (JCM) was held in Beijing May 1, 2012. Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Dr. Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology of China co-chaired the meeting. Representatives from government science and technology ministries and agencies and from research institutes in energy, measurement science, agriculture, environment, health, and basic research attended the meeting. The two sides reviewed collaborative programs under the U.S.-China Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, discussed future efforts, outlined areas for cooperation, and developed a work plan.
• Signed the Protocol between USDA and the Ministry of Science and Technology for Cooperation on Agricultural Flagship Projects.
• Signed Memorandum of Understanding between the National Science Foundation of the United States (NSF) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of People’s Republic of China (MOST) on the establishment of a partnership.
11. Decided to hold the third Advanced Biofuels Forum, the third Renewable Energy Industry Forum, and the twelfth Oil and Gas Industry Forum in due course.
12. Noted the results of the Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in April 2012. The U.S. Department of Energy and Chinese Academy of Sciences met in April and discussed ongoing and potential new collaborative activities. The two sides decided to continue the successful ongoing collaborations in high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences, and explore potential new mutually beneficial collaborations in basic energy sciences including chemistry, materials research, and light source research and development.
13. Decided that under the U.S.-China Bilateral Forum on Combating Illegal Logging and Associated Trade, the two governments are cooperating and undertaking concrete activities to fulfill the objectives of the associated Memorandum of Understanding, including through exchange of information, the research program on wood legality verification options and strategies for U.S.-China trade in forest products and encouraging participation of the private sector and civil society in the Forum.
14. Announced that the U.S.-China Joint Working Group on Environmental Research is to be held in the United States in June 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and China's Ministry of Science and Technology.
15. Decided to hold the tenth session of the Joint Working Group of U.S.-China Agricultural Science and Technology Cooperation in Shandong province in August 2012.
16. Decided to hold the third round of the Dialogue on Law of the Sea and Polar Issues in Beijing, May 22-23, 2012.
III. Addressing Regional and Global Challenges
17. Decided to enhance communication and coordination on regional and global issues to jointly address common challenges and to safeguard peace and stability, in particular using multilateral mechanisms such as peacekeeping operations. The two sides held in-depth discussions on the Korean peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, and Syria. The two sides reiterated their understandings on the Korean peninsula and the Iranian nuclear issue as expressed in the 2011 U.S.-China Joint Statement.
18. Decided to work together, including exploring ways of cooperation, to encourage the international community to assist developing countries, including in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, to support poverty reduction, development, regional integration, and food security and to contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Regarding joint development projects in third countries, the two sides could first conduct joint feasibility studies on programs and projects agreed and selected by all parties, including the host country, in the fields of agriculture, health, and human resources.
19. Reaffirmed the importance of encouraging a peaceful relationship and a productive dialogue between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan on all bilateral issues, including settlement of the remaining post Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues, decided to maintain communication and consultation on the issue concerning Sudan and South Sudan, coordinate actions on the basis of respecting related parties’ concerns, support the peaceful coexistence of the two countries and safeguard safety and stability in the region, including through full implementation of the UN peacekeeping missions there.
IV. Enhancing U.S.-China Bilateral Cooperation
20. Welcomed the continued deepening of subnational relations as envisioned in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Establishment of the U.S.-China Governors Forum to Promote Sub-National Cooperation. Highlighted the success since the last S&ED of the inaugural U.S.-China Governors Forum held in Salt Lake City, the second dialogue held in Beijing, and the Governors Roundtable held in Los Angeles on the margins of Vice President Xi Jinping’s official visit.
21. Decided to hold specific talks on the issuance of five-year multiple entry visas for businessmen, tourists, students, and other agreed-upon visa classes.
22. Reaffirmed their support for the National China Garden Foundation’s efforts to construct a China Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum, expecting the Foundation to complete an Architect-Engineering Feasibility Study by the second half of 2012, develop the final design by the end of 2012, and begin construction in 2013.
23. Decided to continue to implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China Concerning Bilateral Cooperation on Supply Chain Security and Facilitation and the Action Plan. Three Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) joint validations are to be conducted this year in China, which will further U.S.-China Customs cooperation on supply chain security and facilitation. In the meantime, the comparative studies of "Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)" systems will be carried out in conjunction with the joint validations in order to achieve the goal of mutual recognition of AEO as early as possible.
24. Reiterated commitments to combating illegal trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. The Radiation Detection Training Center for China Customs jointly established by both sides is to be put into use in the second half of this year.
25. Decided to sign the Letter of Intent between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China and on a Joint Training Program designed to facilitate the exchange of information and personnel, undertake joint operational exercises, and strengthen customs-to-customs cooperation to identify and interdict illegitimate and illicit materials traveling via air and maritime cargo.
26. Decided to strengthen communication between the U.S. Coast Guard and China’s Ministry of Transport to improve the coordination of search and rescue operations at sea, consider a possible joint exercise to be conducted in Hawaii in September between the U.S. Coast Guard and a vessel from the China Maritime Safety Administration.
27. Welcomed the exchanges between senior law enforcement officials to advance the practical development of bilateral law enforcement cooperation, including the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy R. Gil Kerlikowske’s visit to China in June 2012.
28. Reaffirmed commitment to cooperate on transportation safety and security through study tours arranged by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency on maritime safety and operations; transportation safety and disaster rescue coordination; and an eighth phase of aviation executive management training under the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program.
V. Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Science, and Technology
1. Decided to continue the climate change policy dialogue and pragmatic cooperation. Decided to work together constructively to implement the outcomes reached in Cancun and Durban and to achieve a positive outcome at the UN Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar. Decided to further strengthen the mechanisms for bilateral climate change policy dialogues and related cooperation, strengthen communications at various levels, and exchange views on issues under international climate change negotiations and on domestic policies.
30. Will strengthen cooperation under the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to help the Alliance reach its ambitious goals for the large-scale global adoption of clean stoves and fuels for cooking, and thereby realize the multiple goals of improved health, improved livelihoods, women’s empowerment, energy conservation, and environmental protection. China announced its decision to join the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
31. Welcomed the progress made under the U.S.-China Ten-Year Framework (TYF) on Energy and Environment Cooperation. At the 8th Joint Working Group Meeting of the TYF held in April this year, both sides decided to continue to strengthen cooperation in the action plans under the TYF, including clean water, clean air, clean and efficient transportation, clean and efficient electricity, nature reserves/protected areas, wetlands cooperation, and energy efficiency, and to further implement the EcoPartnerships program. Both sides will promote the “sister lake” partnership program and launch joint study on groundwater pollution prevention and control; co-host a Regional Air Quality Management Conference, implement pilot work on air quality improvement, and engage in technological exchanges on pollutants control; implement the livable transportation project, and deepen cooperation on aviation bio-fuels, energy conservation and emissions reduction in the aviation sector, and vehicle pollution prevention and control; implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the NEA and FERC and hold the U.S.-China Smart Grid Forum in Shenzhen in 2012; implement projects and activities of Annex 11 to the Protocol on Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Conservation of Nature between the U.S. and China; facilitate the joint publication of a special issue of the journal “Wetlands,” and hold the third U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum in Beijing in June 2012.
32. Held an EcoPartnerships signing ceremony during the 4th S&ED and announced the expansion of the EcoPartnerships program by admitting five new EcoPartnerships. By bringing together local governments, research institutions, universities and corporations from the U.S. and China, EcoPartnerships spur innovation, investment and cooperation on energy and environmental issues in both countries. Critical investment by and pragmatic cooperation among EcoPartners at the subnational level translate the strategic goals of the action plans under the TYF into concrete actions.
33. Reaffirmed the commitments made in the U.S.-China Joint Statement on Energy Security Cooperation, which noted the two countries, as the world’s largest producers and consumers of energy, share common interests and responsibilities to ensure energy security and face common challenges. The two sides decided to strengthen dialogue and planning in these areas. The United States and China pledged to strengthen cooperation and increased dialogue and exchange of information in several areas including stabilizing international energy markets, emergency responses, ensuring diversified energy supply, and a rational and efficient use of energy.
34. Reaffirmed the commitments made in the U.S.-China Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Establishing a Center for Excellence in Nuclear Security to strengthen cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear security, and combating nuclear terrorism. The two countries decided to continue supporting the cooperation on the project to establish a Center of Excellence, and the two countries decided to strengthen the cooperation in the field of radioactive waste management.
35. Reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the continued safe operation of their respective nuclear power facilities and of sharing their nuclear safety expertise and experience; reaffirmed their support for the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety approved by the IAEA Board of Governors and endorsed by the IAEA General Conference in 2011; and reaffirmed the importance of establishing a global nuclear liability regime. The two sides decided to cooperate in the field of nuclear liability regime.
36. Welcomed the recent completion of the first U.S.-China shale gas assessment and decided to build on recent progress and strengthen future cooperation concerning shale gas development and regulatory and environmental frameworks. The two sides decided to work within the established Memorandum of Cooperation on Shale Gas Resources between the State Department and the National Energy Administration to enhance dialogue on the commercial environment and to further encourage responsible production in both countries to enhance global energy security.
37. Decided to participate as partners in the Asia-Pacific Energy Regulatory Forum (APERF) to facilitate the sharing of information on energy regulatory and policy practice and experience in the Asia-Pacific region. China is to attend the U.S.-hosted APERF meeting in August 2012 in Washington, D.C., where participants plan to discuss (1) the transition to a low-carbon economy, (2) energy infrastructure and market regulatory arrangements, and (3) competition reform.
38. Welcomed the furthering of bilateral cooperation on clean energy, including the extension of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Exchange Program, under the action plan between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the National Energy Administration.
39. Announced that U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) has held an IPR workshop in China March 5-7, 2012, and will hold one another IPR workshop in the United States within a year. CERC will conduct mid-term assessment on the work progress of its industry-academia-research consortia this year. The United States and China announce the completion of the first U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Annual Report.
40. Welcomed the third year of progress under the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program, announced during the visit of President Obama to China in November 2009. Under this program, the two sides held consultations and selected sites for implementation of a joint pilot project on distributed energy and combined heat and power. The two countries decided to work together to organize workshops, study tours, and other activities covering energy policy.
41. Announced USTDA consideration for two studies to support mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of 1) an integrated smart grid communication model; and 2) denitrification of power plant emissions. Considering that China has made related research deployment in the aforementioned areas, the two sides decided to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation in those areas.
42. Decided to strive to expand cooperation in the field of advanced biofuel and to explore further cooperation on development of aviation biofuel.
43. Welcomed the recent signing of a new Environmental Law Annex under the EPA-MEP Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Field of Environment. This annex is intended to strengthen cooperation in the field of environmental law. Building on 30 years of cooperation, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) proposed holding the next meeting of the Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation (JCEC), in China in the second half of 2012.
44. Announced further collaboration on groundwater investigation including soil remediation, beginning with USTDA-supported technical workshops and study in the United States. Advanced cooperation on reducing air pollution through technical study tours organized by USTDA on mercury emissions controls and green cement production.
45. Decided to strengthen cooperation and exchange through the APFNet and carry out and jointly promote sustainable forest management and conservation in the Asia-Pacific Region.
46. Decided to increase bilateral exchanges in science, technology, and policy to enhance the pragmatic cooperation between the United States and China on fronts such as food security, food safety, and sustainable agriculture.
47. Decided to jointly support wildlife enforcement efforts to combat illegal trafficking of endangered and protected wildlife. The United States and China will participate in a Special Investigations Group meeting in Nanning, China, June 20-21, led by ASEAN-WEN, where wildlife investigators and forensic scientists will identify and recommend improved enforcement and inspection efforts.
48. Affirmed our mutual commitment to strengthening joint research between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) through the U.S.-China Science and Technology Agreement to develop accurate and reliable capabilities for observing and understanding the behavior of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
49. Signed the Framework Plan for Ocean and Fishery Science and Technology Cooperation for 2011-2015 between NOAA and the State Oceanic Administration . The two sides decided to develop the implementation plan of the “Indian Ocean Southern Climate Change Observation, Reanalysis and Prediction” (ISOCORE) program.
VI. Breakout Sessions and Other Meetings
50. Held breakout sessions on Climate Change, Energy Security, Policy Planning, South Asia, Sudan-South Sudan, and Peacekeeping, and conducted a series of bilateral meetings between senior officials on a broad range of issues covering the entire strategic track of the U.S.-China relationship.