U.S., Chinese companies sign 71 contracts




Representatives from U.S. and Chinese companies on Monday signed 71 contracts and agreements worth 13.6 billion U.S. dollars in total in Missouri and Washington D.C.

    The deals were made at two ceremonies in St. Louis, Mo., and here, and both were attended by visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

    During his visit to St. Louis earlier in the day, Wang met with local political and business leaders and spoke highly of growing economic and trade relations between the U.S. state of Missouri and China.

    He noted that the China-U.S. business relationship has expanded from coastal areas of the United States to the Midwest region, which includes Missouri, since China adopted its opening-up and reform policy 30 years ago.

    Wang said both the Chinese and U.S. governments need to attach great importance to their cooperation in the U.S. Midwest region and create favorable conditions and an environment for cooperation between entrepreneurs of both countries.

    He praised political leaders in Missouri for their firm resistance to trade protectionism and said it is the correct position that represents the interests of the people of the U.S. state.

    After Wang arrived in Washington later in the afternoon, he attended a contract-signing ceremony in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    He told representatives from both U.S. and Chinese companies that cooperation between Chinese and U.S. companies serves as the cornerstone for China-U.S. economic and trade relations, and is also the foundation of the China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue, or SED.

    Wang and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will co-chair the fourth round of the SED between June 17 and 18 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, about a 30-minute drive from Washington.

    Wang is attending the meeting as the special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao, and Paulson as special representative of U.S. President George W. Bush.

    Wang's entourage includes ministers and other senior officials from related departments of China's State Council.

    Jointly launched by President Hu and President Bush in September 2006, the dialogue is held twice a year, alternating between the two countries.

    The previous meeting was held in December 2007 in Beijing, China.