INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: U/S Jeffery Discusses Next Round of State-Ndrc Dialogue

Published: Fri 14 Dec 2007 07:27 AM
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RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #7486 3480727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140727Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4012
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
UNCLAS BEIJING 007486
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
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STATE FOR EB U/S JEFFERY
STATE FOR EAP DAS CHRISTENSEN
TREASURY FOR OASIA/CUSHMAN
USDA/FAS/ITP FOR SHEPPARD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ENRG PGOV SOCI CH
SUBJECT: U/S JEFFERY DISCUSSES NEXT ROUND OF STATE-NDRC DIALOGUE
WITH NDRC VICE CHAIRMAN ZHANG XIAOQIANG
SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and
Agricultural Affairs Reuben Jeffery and the Vice Chairman of China's
National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), Zhang Xiaoqiang, met
on the margins of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) on December
12 to discuss the upcoming 7th Round of the State-NDRC Dialogue. On
Dialogue topics, both sides agreed to focus on: (1) the bilateral
investment environment, (2) macroeconomic issues of concern and (3)
energy and the environment in the next round, which is tentatively
scheduled for late February. End Summary.
STATE-NDRC DIALOGUE AN IMPORTANT MECHANISM
------------------------------------------
2. (SBU) Vice Chairman Zhang stated that the State-NDRC Dialogue has
been an important mechanism for discussing economic reform issues
since 2003. Dialogue toics have covered a wide range of issues, he
sid, including economic reform, industrial structural reforms,
energy policy, agricultural development, information technology, and
economic development. The NDRC is very interested in maintaining
the dialogue mechanism, and Zhang said the NDRC is looking forward
to the 7th Round of the State-NDRC Dialogue in the United States in
early 2008. U/S Jeffery agreed that the State-NDRC Dialogue has
been very constructive and is especially useful because it is
flexible and complements existing dialogues.
FOCUSING ON THE INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT
--------------------------------------
3. (SBU) Zhang welcomed U/S Jeffery's proposal to discuss investment
issues during the next round of the State-NDRC Dialogue. The
investment environment is very important for economic development
right now, U/S Jeffery said, and the State-NDRC Dialogue presents a
special opportunity to talk about investment rules in an open and
direct way. Both sides need to clearly outline the facts and
realities of their respective investment environments and separate
those facts from rhetoric that is protectionist and nationalistic,
U/S Jeffery said. Vice Chairman Zhang agreed that investment is an
important issue of mutual interest, and the State-NDRC Dialogue
would be a good venue for discussing in general terms how to move
forward in several areas. (Note: On December 13, Vice Chairman
Zhang shared some of his concerns about improving the bilateral
investment environment during Session VI of the SED. Septel to
follow. End Note.)
UNDERSTANDING THE MACROECONOMIC SITUATION
-----------------------------------------
4. (SBU) Vice Chairman Zhang and U/S Jeffery also agreed that the
7th Round of the State-NDRC Dialogue should continue to focus
attention on macroeconomic concerns, particularly during a period
when there are economic difficulties in both the United States in
China. The next round of the Dialogue could lead to a better
understanding of NDRC's views on socioeconomic development in China
following the 17th Party Congress as well as thoughts at the State
Department and other government agencies on the economic situation
in the United States (especially the impact of the sub-prime
mortgage crisis and rising oil prices). In addition, other issues
of mutual concern such as energy and the environment possibly could
be included in the Dialogue.
WORKING OUT THE DETAILS
-----------------------
5. (SBU) U/S Jeffery and Vice Chairman Zhang agreed that the 7th
Round of the State-NDRC Dialogue would be held in Washington in late
February. NDRC is likely to be represented by Vice Chairman Zhu
Zhixin, who was traveling on December 12 but was the interlocutor
for five of the previous six rounds. (Note: In a separate
conversation, contacts at NDRC said that Zhu is one of two potential
successors to NDRC Chairman Ma Kai, who is slated to be elevated to
the State Council. End Note.) Both sides will continue to share
thoughts on a more detailed agenda for the next round but will have
to finalize the agenda by late January due the Chinese Lunar New
Year Holiday that begins on February 7.
RANDT
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