The relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America moved forward on a generally steady course in 2010.
The two countries conducted close contacts and exchanges at the top and other levels.
The two presidents met three times, talked on the phone twice and exchanged 13 letters, thus staying in close touch on China-US relations and issues of mutual interest.
On 12 April, President Hu Jintao had a meeting with President Barack Obama during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC.
On 26 June, President Hu had a meeting with President Obama during the Fourth G-20 Summit in Toronto.
On 11 November, President Hu had a meeting with President Obama during the Fifth G-20 Summit in Seoul.
From 24 to 25 May, President Hu's special representatives Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo and President Obama's special representatives Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner co-chaired the second round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&EDs) in Beijing. President Hu attended the opening session and delivered an important speech; President Obama sent a written message. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao met with the US special representatives. During the S&EDs, the two sides had candid and in-depth exchange of views on overarching, strategic and long-term issues concerning the development of bilateral ties and produced more than 70 positive outcomes.
On 8 April, Vice Premier Wang Qishan met with Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner at the Beijing Airport. They exchanged views on economic and trade relations between China and the United States.
On 27 June, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, who was on President Hu Jintao's delegation to the Fourth G-20 Summit in Toronto, met with Secretary Timothy Geithner and discussed China-US economic ties with him.
On 24 October, Vice Premier Wang Qishan met with Secretary Timothy Geithner at the Qingdao Airport. They exchanged views on China-US economic relations and issues relating to the forthcoming G-20 summit in Seoul.
On 12 November, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, who was on President Hu Jintao's delegation to the G-20 summit in Seoul, met with Secretary Timothy Geithner and discussed China-US economic ties with him.
From 14 to 15 December, the 21st session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade was held in Washington DC, co-chaired by Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
On 25 May, the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was launched in Beijing. State Councilor Liu Yandong and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired the inauguration ceremony and the first meeting.
On 13 April, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping, who were on President Hu Jintao's delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, met together with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. They discussed energy cooperation and nuclear security.
On 5 October, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu met with National Security Advisor James Jones on the sidelines of an international meeting of high representatives on security issues in Sochi. They exchanged views on law enforcement cooperation and counter-terrorism.
On 31 October, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had an informal meeting in Sanya, Hainan Province. They exchanged views on China-US relations and President Hu's upcoming visit to the US.
On 11 November, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who was on President Hu's delegation to the G-20 summit in Seoul, met with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. They exchanged views on bilateral ties and President Hu's visit to the US.
On 28 January, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the London Conference on Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Yang discussed bilateral ties and raised the issue of US arms sales to Taiwan with Secretary Clinton. They also exchanged views on the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan, climate change and other issues.
On 23 July, Foreign Minister Yang had a meeting with Secretary Clinton during the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi. They exchanged views on bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
On 20 September, Foreign Minister Yang had a meeting with Secretary Clinton during the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly. They exchanged views on bilateral ties and President Hu's visit to the US.
On 30 October, Foreign Minister Yang had a meeting with Secretary Clinton during East Asian leaders' meetings in Hanoi. They exchanged views on bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
From 2 to 4 March, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs Jeff Bader visited China. They had meetings with State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and talks with vice foreign ministers Wang Guangya and Cui Tiankai.
From 19 to 24 March, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai met with deputy national security advisors Tom Donilon and Michael Froman, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, Under Secretary of State William Burns and NSC Senior Director Jeff Bader during a transit visit to the United States.
From 26 to 27 August, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai had a vice foreign ministerial-level political consultation with Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Washington DC. He had meetings with deputy national security advisors Tom Donilon and Michael Froman and Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy.
From 5 to 8 September, Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers visited China. They had meetings with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Minister of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee Li Yuanchao, Vice Chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission General Xu Caihou, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
From 15 to 17 December, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg visited China. He had meetings and talks with State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee Wang Jiarui, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai and Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsular Affairs Wu Dawei.
The two countries maintained a sound momentum in exchanges between legislatures.
In January, Patty Murray, Co-Chair of the Senate US-China Inter-Parliamentary Group and Democratic Conference Secretary, and Christopher Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, visited China for the fifth NPC-Senate meeting under the China-US parliamentary conference mechanism. In May, NPC Vice Chairman Lu Yongxiang led a delegation to the United States for a meeting with the US chairs of the NPC-Senate meeting under the China-US parliamentary conference mechanism. Also in May, Chairman of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee Li Zhaoxing headed another delegation to the United States for the 11th NPC-House of Representatives meeting under the China-US parliamentary exchange mechanism. Over 20 US lawmakers and 230 aids to lawmakers visited China, including Senate Democratic Deputy Whip Claire McCaskill, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance Max Baucus, Chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Jeff Bingaman, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Robert Bennett, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Bart Gordon, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eni F. H. Faleomavaega. The NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee, Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee conducted exchanges with their counterpart committees in the US Congress.
Trade and economic cooperation between China and the United States continued to deepen. New progress was made in exchanges and cooperation in energy, the environment, culture, people-to-people, agriculture, health, transportation, counter-terrorism, law enforcement and other fields. Military-to-military relations saw improvement and development.
Trade between the two countries emerged from the international financial crisis and registered fast growth. China and the United States were each other's second largest trading partner. The United States was China's second largest export market and the sixth largest source of imports; China was the third largest export market and the biggest source of imports for the United States. It has remained the US' fastest-growing major export market for nine consecutive years.
Mutual investment gradually recovered from the financial crisis. By the end of 2010, the United States, as one of China's largest sources of foreign investment, had invested in 59,500 projects in China with paid-in investment of US$64.85 billion. Chinese businesses quickened steps to invest in the United States. By the end of 2010, Chinese businesses had made US$4.42 billion of non-financial direct investment in a wide range of areas in the United States.
China and the United States conducted fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation on energy and the environment. Cooperation in energy conservation, pollution reduction, new energy, renewable energy, clean energy, energy efficient buildings and environmental governance became a new highlight of bilateral relations. In May, the two countries held the first US-China Energy Efficiency Forum in Beijing. Discussions were held on energy efficiency in buildings, industry and consumer products, as well as market opportunities for energy service companies. Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu delivered keynote speeches at the opening session. A Joint Statement on Energy Security Cooperation was released by the two sides. In September, the Fifth US-China Energy Policy Dialogue and the 10th US-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum were held in Washington DC. In November, the second steering committee meeting of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center was held in Shanghai, co-chaired by Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Secretary Steven Chu had meetings with Vice Premier Li Keqiang and State Councilor Liu Yandong in Beijing. The two sides exchanged views on closer cooperation in energy and energy efficiency.
Exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in education, science and technology, culture, health and sports continued to advance. In May, the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange was inaugurated in Beijing and had its first working meeting. State Councilor Liu Yandong and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave remarks at the inauguration ceremony and signed the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the United States of America on Establishing High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. The two sides exchanged views on deepening cooperation and interactions in education, science and technology, culture and sports, and signed relevant agreements. In July, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang traveled to the United States for the Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting. While in the United States, Minister Wan Gang met with John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, exchanged views with US companies on innovation, and visited General Motors and the Argonne National Laboratory. In August, Vice Education Minister Hao Ping visited the United States as the Chinese coordinator for the High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. He met with Under Secretary of State Judith A. McHale and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and exchanged views with them on the next steps to advance the High-Level Consultation. In September, Minister of Health Chen Zhu visited the United States. In October, Minister Wan Gang and Dr. John P. Holdren co-chaired the China-US Innovation Dialogue in Beijing. Vice Culture Minister Wang Wenzhang visited the United States in the same month.
Consultation and cooperation in counter-terrorism continued to deepen. China agreed to accept the US invitation to become a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum initiated by the United States. In May, the China-US Dialogue on Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement was held in Beijing during the second round of S&EDs. The two sides exchanged views on counterterrorism and law enforcement cooperation, security arrangements related to the Shanghai World Expo, "East Turkestan", and fighting the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement" and other "East Turkestan" terrorist forces.
Military-to-military relations, which were again disrupted by the US arms sales to Taiwan, gradually turned around in the latter half of 2010. After the successful meetings of the two presidents in Washington DC in April and in Toronto in June, relations between the two militaries faced an opportunity to recover and improve. On 11 October, General Liang Guanglie, Member of the CPC Central Military Commission, State Councilor and Minister of Defense, met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Hanoi. They had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on military-to-military ties and other issues of mutual interest. Secretary Gates accepted General Liang's invitation to visit China in early 2011. From 14 to 15 October, the annual meeting of the China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement was held in Hawaii. On 10 December, the 11th China-US Defense Consultative Talks was held in Washington DC, co-chaired by Deputy Chief of the PLA General Staff General Ma Xiaotian and Deputy Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy.
The two countries maintained a sound momentum in law enforcement cooperation and further promoted high-level exchanges between their law enforcement agencies. In October, Attorney General Eric Holder visited China. He had meetings or talks with Secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee Zhou Yongkang, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu, Procurator General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate Cao Jianmin, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Minister of Justice Wu Aiying. The visits to China by John Morton, Director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and David Aguilar, Deputy Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection, further deepened mutual understanding and trust between law enforcement agencies and laid the political groundwork for closer cooperation. In late November and early December, the eighth meeting of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) on Law Enforcement Cooperation was held in Beijing. The eight JLG working groups on pursuit of fugitives, repatriation, cyber crime, IPR criminal law enforcement, human smuggling, counter narcotics, mutual assistance in criminal matters and anti-corruption respectively all held meetings. The meetings yielded important outcomes in enhancing strategic trust, expanding pragmatic cooperation and improving the working mechanism. Meeting minutes were signed. In the course of the year, the two sides took active and practical steps to assist each other in collecting evidence and investigating cases, including tracking down fugitives and combating such transnational crimes as money-laundering, terrorism and human smuggling.
The two sides maintained close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, highlighting the rising strategic significance and global impact of China-US relations.
China and the United States had effective communication and coordination on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The two countries engaged in intense consultations with the relevant parties to ease tensions on the Peninsula and played an important part in maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. The two countries and other relevant parties maintained coordination and consultation on the Iranian nuclear issue and played a constructive role in upholding the international non-proliferation regime. The two countries maintained close consultation on Sudan, the Middle East peace process, climate change and the reform of the international financial system.
Taiwan-related, Tibet-related, Xinjiang-related, trade, human rights, religious and other issues remained prominent in China-US relations.
The Obama administration basically maintained the one China framework on the issue of Taiwan. President Obama and his administration reiterated on many occasions their commitment to the one China policy and the three Sino-US joint communiqués and support for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. But official exchanges and military links in disguised forms continued between the United States and Taiwan. Ma Ying-jeou was allowed to have two stopovers in the United States. "Foreign Minister" Timothy Yang, "Deputy Defense Minister" Andrew Yang, "Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman" Lai Shin-yuan, and several leading figures of the Democratic Progressive Party including Annette Lv and Su Tseng-chang were allowed to visit the United States. Barry Larkin, the so-called "State Department Sports Envoy", was sent to visit Taiwan. The US side and Taiwan held such activities as the "Monterey Talks", the "high-level dialogue on national security" and the "US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference" in the United States. In disregard of the repeated stern representations from the Chinese side, the United States went ahead to announce in late January sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan worth nearly US$6.4 billion. The move seriously damaged China-US relations. The US side upgraded E-2T Hawkeyes airborne early warning aircraft and AN/FPS-115 Pave PAWS radar for Taiwan, and went ahead with the planned arms sales announced by the Bush administration in 2008. A handful of pro-Taiwan, anti-China US lawmakers continued to clamor for more arms sales to Taiwan and for substantive relations between the United States and Taiwan.
The Chinese government gave strong reactions to these erroneous moves, and urged the US side to understand the great sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, adhere to the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, and put an end to its official and military contact with Taiwan and its arms sales to Taiwan, thus using concrete actions to support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. In response to the massive arms sales announced by the US side, the Chinese side took a number of countermeasures, including putting on hold the planned mutual visits between the two militaries and postponing some exchange programs in the military field. The US side thus gained a better understanding of China's firm resolve to uphold its core interests. It reiterated on several public occasions its commitment to the one China policy and its position of having only non-official ties with Taiwan and not supporting "Taiwan independence". It welcomed steady improvement and development of cross-Straits relations and called for a peaceful settlement through cross-Straits dialogue.
The US side allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the United States three times, in February, May and October. On 18 February, President Obama met with him in the Map Room of the White House. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also met with him. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on the 51st anniversary of the armed rebellion by the Dalai group on 10 March and another one on his birthday on 6 July. On 18 October, Maria Otero, the so-called "Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues", met with him in Atlanta. March 10 was declared "Tibet Day" in the cities of Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Madison and "Tibet Awareness Day" in the city of Portland.
The United States continued to make unfounded accusations against China's Xinjiang-related policies in its Annual Report on Human Rights and Report on International Religious Freedom. A handful of US lawmakers pushed for a bill to mark the July 5th incident. The Congressional and Executive Commission on China issued a report and had a discussion session on Xinjiang. In March, the United States transferred to Switzerland two Uyghur terrorist suspects of Chinese nationality detained at Guantanamo.
The United States made new trade protectionist moves. In 2010, the US launched six anti-dumping and countervailing investigations against China, which involved US$850 million. In August, the US Department of Commerce announced 14 proposals to help strengthen the enforcement of antidumping and countervailing laws, which adversely affected China's response to US trade remedy measures. In October, the US launched an investigation into China's clean energy policies and measures under Section 301 of its Trade Act of 1974. The slow pace of economic recovery, fiscal and trade deficits, and high unemployment fuelled protectionist sentiments on Capitol Hill. The 111th Congress introduced more than 40 economic and trade bills related to China, including on the RMB exchange rate. Some lawmakers also expressed concerns over the protection of intellectual property rights, policy on innovation product accreditation and the investment climate in China. In response to these concerns, the Chinese side engaged the US Congress and relevant lawmakers to let them see China-US trade ties in a sensible way and asked them not to do anything that might harm the broader interests of economic cooperation and trade between the two countries.
In March, the State Department released its annual Country Report on Human Rights and continued to make unfounded criticisms against China's human rights conditions. In May, President Obama issued a written statement on the World Press Freedom Day, which contained criticism on press freedom in China. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom and the State Department released their annual international religious freedom reports in April and November respectively and continued to criticize China's policy on religion and its religious freedom. The congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission and the US Congressional-Executive China Commission published annual reports in October and November respectively. Both made unwarranted accusations against China on human rights, religion and other issues. President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and House Speaker Pelosi issued statements in support of the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. House Speaker Pelosi attended the award ceremony in Oslo. The House of Representatives adopted a bill to congratulate Liu Xiaobo. In response to these erroneous actions, the Chinese side made stern representations, openly stated its strong opposition, and urged the US side to stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. To uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests, the Chinese side made stern representations regarding these erroneous statements and actions, and stated its firm opposition to any attempt by the US side to interfere in China's internal affairs or use various issues as a pretext to undermine China's interests.
The development of China-US relations in 2010 once again shows that for China and the United States, two countries with major influence in the world, shared interests always come first, and that dialogue and cooperation remains the mainstream of bilateral relations. A sound China-US relationship serves not only fundamental interests of both countries and peoples but also peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The events in 2010 once again demonstrate the crucial importance of respecting each other's core interests and major concerns to the steady development of China-US relations. As the international situation undergoes complex and profound changes, global challenges are on the increase, and countries become more interdependent, China and the United States share even more common interests and broader cooperation prospects on a host of major issues concerning peace and development of mankind. The two sides should earnestly implement the important consensus reached between the two presidents, strengthen dialogue, exchanges and cooperation in every field, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns so as to promote sound and steady development of China-US relations.