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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement of President Barack Obama to the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue

Beijing, China

To the participants of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue,

Last summer, I was proud to welcome many of you to the White House as our two countries launched this Strategic and Economic Dialogue.  I want to thank President Hu, Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Dai, and the entire Chinese delegation for their hospitality in hosting this year’s meeting. 

I am pleased that our delegation in Beijing is led by two outstanding members of my Cabinet -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner -- and that they are joined by officials from across my Administration. 

As I said when we began this dialogue, the relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world. Together, we set out to build a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship, and we pledged to cooperate to advance our shared interests.  That is what we have done.

As two of the world’s largest economies, we have worked together, and with our G-20 partners, to sustain the global economic recovery.  During my visit to China last fall, we forged clean energy partnerships, and at Copenhagen we made important commitments to confront climate change.

To advance our common security interests, we are cooperating to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and regional nuclear arms races that would endanger us all.  I was pleased to welcome President Hu to our Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, and I thank China for its commitment to establish a center of excellence on nuclear security, which will help achieve our shared goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.

Over the next two days, our two countries have the opportunity to deepen our cooperation even further and advance the prosperity, health and security of our people.  Together, we can promote economic growth that is balanced and sustained and trade that is free and fair.  We can work to fulfill the commitments we made at Copenhagen.  We can address pressing regional and global security challenges, including strengthening the global nonproliferation regime to ensure the rights and responsibilities of all nations.  We need to improve communication between our militaries, which promotes mutual understanding and confidence.

Our two nations may not always agree on every issue, but this dialogue also allows us to communicate and understand one another better.  This includes America’s abiding commitment to those human rights that are universal and to the dignity of all people.  Indeed, we welcome our human rights dialogue with China, which we began this month and which I look forward to continuing.

Across all these areas, our relationship with China is guided by the recognition that we live in an interconnected world.  As I said during my visit to China while standing beside President Hu in the Great Hall where you gather today, one country’s success need not come at the expense of another.  Our progress can be shared.  Indeed, the United States welcomes China as a strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations.
A truly comprehensive relationship, however, cannot be between governments alone.  It must also be between our people.  That is why my visit to China included a discussion with young men and women in Shanghai, and it is why we are working to deepen the ties between Americans and Chinese through educational and cultural exchanges.     

As you meet in Beijing, the people of Shanghai are hosting the World Expo, which reflects the strength and creativity of China and its people.  There, at the USA Pavilion, the United States is proud to showcase the spirit that has always defined our country, including our belief that we can join with other nations to build a better life for our children.    

This is the spirit that brings our countries together in Beijing and the spirit that must guide our work as we deepen our positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship.  Thank you for participating in this Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and we look forward to welcoming you to the United States for our meeting next year and to continuing our progress.

President Barack Obama