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International Cooperation

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)

Secretary Kerry Participates in a Climate Meeting During the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

The Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) is a broad and high level exchange between the U.S. and Chinese governments. Discussions focus on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global issues of strategic and economic importance in the immediate and long term.

The seventh session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) took place in Washington, D.C., in late June 2015. 

The S&ED is held on an annual basis rotating between the countries. The purpose of the S&ED is for the U.S. and China to address our shared opportunities and challenges in the 21st century.

The first S&ED was held in Washington in 2009. This structure expands on the narrower Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) which was started in 2006.

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Jane Nishida, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, participates in the Strategic Track Plenary Session.

2015 Strategic and Economic Dialogue

The U.S. Departments of State and Treasury hosted the Chinese government for the seventh Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Washington, DC from June 22-24. The dialogue was opened by Vice President Biden and the Strategic and Economic tracks were chaired by Secretaries Kerry and Lew, respectively, and their Chinese counterparts. A range of environmental issues, including air and climate, oceans, fisheries, marine protected areas, and marine litter, were addressed by the relevant departments and agencies.

New Initiative on Greening Ports and Vessels

June 22: EPA, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China (MEP), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) hosted a breakout session on greening ports and vessels.  The session was chaired by EPA and MEP, with participation from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Shanghai Municipal Transport Commission, Shenzhen Human Settlements and Environment Commission, and the Port of Los Angeles. 

Participants shared experience on air quality and other impacts from ports and vessels, and discussed national, provincial, and port authority priorities and experience to engage stakeholders to cost-effectively reduce emissions. Under EPA leadership and collaboration with MEP and the Department of State, the U.S. and China agreed to launch a new Climate Change Working Group initiative on green ports and vessels to mitigate emissions and impacts on air quality and climate change.

Think Tank Symposium

June 22: EPA participated in an Environment and Development Think Tank Symposium, organized in Washington DC by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) Exit, held on the margins of the S&ED, to support the development of CCICED as a new type of think tank and promote experience sharing on environment and development. 

EPA delivered remarks on the role of think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and public participation on policy development. Think tanks and research institutes from both the United States and China participated in the symposium.

Joint Session on Climate

June 23: Administrator McCarthy joined Secretaries Kerry, Moniz, Pritzker, and Special Envoy for Climate Change Stern, and Chinese counterparts, including MEP Vice Minister Li Ganjie and NDRC SR Xie Zhenua and other leaders, for the Joint Session on Climate as part of the S&ED.  

Discussions included preparation for the upcoming Conference of the Parties in Paris, progress under the U.S. China Climate Change Working Group, experience in implementing domestic and international actions on mitigation and resilience, and green growth and low-carbon development.

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Special Session on Conserving and Protecting the Oceans

June 24:  The Department of State hosted a Strategic and Economic Dialogue special session on conserving and protecting the Oceans. 

The U.S. and China committed to collaborate on combatting global climate change, ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing, marine pollution, and marine litter.  The two countries agreed to work to reduce marine litter through stronger waste management and public awareness practices in China and the United States, among other initiatives.  

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About the S&ED

Established by President Obama and Chinese President Hu in April 2009, the S&ED focuses on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global areas of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest.

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2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue

On July 10-11, then-EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy participated in the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). In the Joint Session on Climate Change, McCarthy presented on U.S. regulation of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

During the session, the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group, established in April of 2013, agreed to five new initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The Working Group is charged with developing implementation plans by October 2013 to:

group photo at U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in 2013
Gina McCarthy joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew, China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang at 2013 S&ED.
  • reduce emissions from heavy-duty and other vehicles;
  • promote carbon capture, utilization, and storage;
  • increase energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and transportation;
  • improve greenhouse gas data collection and management; and
  • promote smart grids.

McCarthy also hosted a side meeting on air quality with China’s Vice Minister for Environmental Protection Li Ganjie and U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Lee Zak. The agencies committed to continue elevated cooperation on regional air quality pollution planning and control in China. The two sides will share best practices and work together to combat climate change through new pragmatic cooperation on heavy-duty and other vehicles; smart grids; carbon capture, utilization, and storage; collecting and managing greenhouse gas data; and energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and transport.

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2011 Strategic and Economic Dialogue

group photo at 2011 Strategic and Economic Dialogue
Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (bottom row, 2nd from right), along with U.S. and Chinese leaders, at the Strategic & Economic Dialogue III, May 9, 2011.
In May 2011, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, other Cabinet and Administration officials, and their Chinese counterparts.

As part of the 2011 S&ED, Administrator Jackson and China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) Vice Minister Li Ganjie co-chaired a breakout session on Electronics Stewardship and Environmental Cooperation. This information exchange was part of a new dialogue on e-waste between EPA and MEP. 

Jackson was joined by the agencies that serve on an Interagency Task Force on e-waste with EPA, including representatives from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Energy.

Learn more: EPA's efforts Cleaning Up Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

Administrator Jackson also offered remarks at a Plenary Session on EPA’s 30 years of environmental cooperation with China. EPA has an active Memorandum of Understanding with MEP and also works with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission.


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For additional information on EPA's work in China, contact:
Luis Troche
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-2870