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China vice premier urges green partnership with US

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 16, 2008
China's pointman on US trade ties Monday urged Washington to work closely with Beijing to develop energy-efficient and pollution-reducing technologies as he heads to the United States for economic talks.

Vice Premier Wang Qishan said in an opinion piece in The Financial Times that China and the United States should set up joint research and development centres to encourage new energy and environmental protection technologies.

"Stronger co-operation between the two countries in energy and the environment will enable China to better respond to energy and environmental issues and also bring about tremendous business opportunities and handsome returns for American investors," Wang wrote.

The former mayor of Beijing, now a key economic policy decision maker, was due to arrive in the United States on Monday for the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Annapolis, Maryland.

The meeting will mark the fourth time the countries have held the forum since it began in 2006.

His comments reflect Beijing's growing openness toward discussing pollution in China but also its desire to work with others to obtain new technologies.

"China is a big and populous developing country at a stage of accelerated industrialisation and urbanisation," Wang wrote.

"This has led to heavy consumption of energy and resources and made the task of protecting the environment a daunting one."

China and the United States should work together to develop tax, trade and fiscal incentives to encourage innovation and investment in green technologies, Wang said.

He also suggested new mechanisms for venture investment in high-tech start-ups.

Spiralling energy prices have put new pressure on Beijing as it struggles to maintain price caps on domestic oil and power prices.

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