China, US to hold talks on investment protection

BEIJING, Apr 28: China and the US will hold the seventh round of technical-level negotiations on a two-way investment protection agreement during the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) here next week.
The two countries attach great importance to the resumption of the negotiations and have held six rounds of talks with the promotion of the SED, Chinese Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao told media here today.
The two-day dialogue beginning on May 3, to be attended among others by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, will cover an array of contentious issues between the two major powers and large trade partners.
The Chinese side will be represented by its Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councillor Dai Bingguo.
Zhu said the negotiations on the investment protection agreement were suspended due to the US side’s internal assessment of the text, and their internal consultations and review of the text have finished, according to the U    S side.
“The Chinese side is glad that the negotiations will resume on the sidelines of the fourth round of the S&ED,” Zhu said, adding that technical work for the seventh round of negotiations will begin immediately.
He said China welcomes promoting the negotiations on the agreement on the principle, settled upon by two heads of state, that the two countries will work toward a cooperative partnership featuring mutual respect and reciprocity.
The Chinese side expressed hope that the two sides would conclude all negotiations through their joint efforts, Zhu said.
The negotiation on two-way investment protection agreement was launched on the fourth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June 2008.
It is regarded as an important dialogue as top US companies have invested heavily in China.
Beijing is also seeking to invest in US, specially in the infrastructure sector, which it says will help revive the American economy.
US exports to China for the first time hit record high of USD 103.9 billion as Beijing opened up its market more. The bilateral trade amounted to USD 567.21 billion, up 18.3 per cent year-on-year.
US also was expected to take up its concerns over slow appreciation of Chinese currency.
China defends its monetary measures as its economy is on down trend due to falling exports. (PTI)