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Bilateral climate change talks urged
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Beijing and Washington should arrange climate change dialogues and more relevant summits for the two sides' leadership, a major US think tank said yesterday.

The Brookings Institution, one of the most influential US think tanks, included the suggestion in its latest report on Sino-US cooperation on fighting climate change issued in Beijing yesterday.

It also issued a memo to both countries' presidents with the report.

Kenneth Lieberthal, a visiting fellow with the institute and senior China studies scholar, proposed establishing the "New Climate Change/Clean Energy Dialogue" this year to parallel the existing Sino-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and Strategic Dialogue, which separately focus on economics and politics.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last Saturday during her visit to Beijing that the White House is considering integrating the two dialogues. Fighting global warming with China was a top issue of Clinton's 40-hour Beijing visit.

"Each of these dialogues can initiate related activities, and none of them will displace other regular consultations," Lieberthal said in the report.

He also suggested the country's top leaders put the issue high on their discussion dockets. Between March and November, Chinese and US leaders are scheduled to meet for the G-20, the G8, the UN General Assembly and the APEC Leaders Meeting.

"To galvanize the government bureaucracies in both countries to focus on how best to optimize cooperation opportunities the two presidents should hold a summit meeting as early as possible," the report said.

China and the US face obstacles in addressing climate change, because the two sides often have difficulty understanding each other's stances, Lieberthal said.

Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, told the seminar: "Dialogues on climate change are in the interest of both China and the US, but each side should work out a plan to combat climate change according to different national conditions.

(China Daily Febraury 27, 2009)

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