U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue VII Strategic Track Select Outcomes
On the occasion of the Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED) June 23-24, 2015, the United States and China agreed to, among other things:
Work together to achieve a successful global climate agreement: Building on the historic joint announcement on climate change by President Obama and President Xi last year, the United States and China renewed their resolve to achieve an ambitious global climate agreement in December in Paris. Secretary Kerry and Treasury Secretary Lew, and their Chinese counterparts, led a joint session on climate change, and the two sides underscored their commitment to fulfill their pre- and post-2020 climate pledges by demonstrating progress on existing cooperation and announcing a number of new bilateral initiatives targeting key emissions sectors, including: a zero-emissions bus program; an initiative to reduce the emissions of ports and vessels; the second phase of a program to reduce emissions from industrial boilers; two new carbon, capture, use, and storage (CCUS) pilot projects; and a Climate-Smart / Low-Carbon Cities Summit in Los Angeles this fall.
Protect and conserve our ocean: The ocean is critical to the economic vitality of the United States and China, and the two countries committed to an ambitious agenda to conserve and protect it. The two sides reached agreements to combat illegal fishing through expanded maritime law enforcement actions, the use of port state measures against illegal foreign fishing vessels, and deepened bilateral coordination among our policy and enforcement agencies. Additionally, the two sides plan to step up their efforts to establish a marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea later this year and improve the effectiveness of their domestic MPAs; launch a sister cities program and cooperation with third countries to stem the flow of plastic debris and litter into the ocean; and support strong, professional standards of behavior at sea by the two sides’ coast guards in accordance with international law and standards.
Strengthen global health security: Building on their substantial contributions and close coordination to combat the Ebola epidemic, the United States and China decided to work together to help West African countries rebuild health systems that are stronger and more resilient than they were before. The two sides agreed to renew their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on emerging infectious diseases, collaborate in support of the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda, and explore technical cooperation in support of the newly-formed African Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken led a special S&ED session on development cooperation, at which the two sides discussed ways to transition cooperation in fighting Ebola to long-term capacity building in West Africa.
Support a peaceful, stable, and unified Afghanistan: The United States and China continued their close cooperation in support of Afghanistan’s government of national unity, economic development, and security forces. To advance this vision, U.S. and Chinese counterparts agreed to continue convening a trilateral consultation with Afghanistan, and the two sides agreed to launch new joint training programs for Afghan medical and veterinary professionals.
Address nuclear proliferation challenges: The United States and China highlighted their determination to address the nuclear proliferation challenges posed by Iran and North Korea. The two sides reiterated their commitment to achieve a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action based on a framework understanding reached in April by the P5+1, EU, and Iran, which will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. With respect to North Korea, the two sides reaffirmed the importance of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and committed to the full implementation of the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The two sides underscored their commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation by continuing cooperation that strengthens detection of illicit trafficking of nuclear, radioactive, and WMD-related materials.
Deepen counterterrorism cooperation: The United States and China committed to enhance their counterterrorism cooperation, including by convening a meeting to discuss best practices on stemming the illicit flow of components used by terrorists worldwide in improvised explosive devices. Recognizing the threat to border security and international trade posed by maritime shipping containers, the two sides agreed to renew and expand their container security initiative to include additional Chinese ports. The second round of the U.S.-China Counterterrorism Dialogue will be held at the vice-minister level the week of August 3 in Beijing.
Promote stability in Iraq and Syria: The United States and China emphasized the importance of political reconciliation and compromise between the major ethno-sectarian groups within Iraq. Understanding that all Iraqis would benefit from the expansion of Iraq’s oil and gas production, the two sides, together with Iraq, decided to discuss potential areas of cooperation on energy. The two sides affirmed their support for the UN’s work to reinvigorate efforts towards a political solution in Syria, and discussed the need for a comprehensive political solution that sustainably ends the conflict.
Address the growing global need for humanitarian assistance: The United States and China agreed to continue providing support to refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq and Syria, and they called on the international community to step up humanitarian assistance in accordance with UN guiding principles. In recognition of the important role of non-governmental organizations in this area, the two sides agreed to jointly fund a program to improve the capacity of Chinese foundations to deliver international humanitarian assistance.
Combat International Bribery: The United States and China decided to enhance cooperation in the fight against international bribery, including through the implementation of G20 commitments. China agreed to consider joining the OECD Working Group on Bribery as a Participant in the near future.
Advance efforts to combat wildlife trafficking: Recognizing that wildlife trafficking is a conservation and security concern that is pushing some species to the brink of extinction, the United States and China decided to take steps to further restrict imports and domestic trade in elephant ivory; collaborate in new areas on specific marine species; strengthen law enforcement cooperation; and enforce criminal penalties to deter future wildlife trafficking. To tackle this pernicious crime, the two countries also agreed to increase public awareness of the harm caused by illicit trade in wildlife, and to cooperate with key governments and other stakeholders to combat wildlife trafficking.