Paulson, Bernanke Lead Top U.S. Team To Beijing

Talks aim to assure continued global growth.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke will lead the U.S. team next month for the first session of a top-level Sino-U.S. economic forum, officials said Nov. 28.

The U.S. officials will address "assuring continued global growth, China's economic development and further integration into the world trading system, stable energy markets, and cooperation on the environment", according to a Treasury statement.

The inaugural meeting of the two nations' new "strategic economic dialogue" will take place in the Chinese capital Dec. 14-15.

Also in the U.S. delegation will be Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

The U.S. delegation will meet mainly with a Chinese delegation including Vice Premier Wu Yi, and will also hold talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, it said.

The new dialogue was announced in September during a trip to Beijing by Paulson, who hailed the forum as a way of tackling the longer-term challenges to the world economy thrown up by China's headlong growth. But speaking in London earlier Nov. 28, Paulson acknowledged that "the need for greater currency flexibility" on the Chinese yuan was a short-term headache facing U.S.-China relations.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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