Discussions at the just-concluded 2014 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue extended to areas beyond statecraft and trade issues, as demonstrated by the participation of U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Moniz traveled to Beijing from July 8 to 11 to participate in the annual dialogue, which is the pre-eminent channel for government-to-government discussions of issues relating to global, regional and national security and economic issues.
The energy secretary met with several of his counterparts in the Chinese government, as well as representatives of U.S. and Chinese companies, research groups and nongovernmental organizations. During these meetings, Moniz focused on opportunities to expand and deepen U.S.-China collaborations on clean energy and climate change, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
“Increased cooperation between the United States and China is imperative to solve the enormous energy and climate challenges we face,” Moniz said. “This week, the message has been consistent in every meeting and extremely encouraging: a shared desire for our two countries to work closely together to combat climate change, and develop and deploy clean energy.”
On July 10, Moniz signed two agreements aimed at encouraging significant new bilateral cooperation on energy issues.
Moniz and Administrator Wu Xinxiong of China’s National Energy Administration signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation on strategic petroleum reserves. The MOU enables the DOE’s Office of Petroleum Reserves and NEA’s National Oil Reserve Office to share information on technical, management, and policy issues related to oil stockpiles. DOE and NEA will conduct annual technical meetings to be held alternately in the United States and China.
These activities will allow the two countries to understand each other’s systems and decision-making, which will facilitate effective response to disruptions in the global petroleum supply.
Moniz signed a separate MOU for cooperation on electric vehicles and industrial energy efficiency with Minister Miao Wei of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Under this framework, the two sides will conduct cooperation in the fields of electric vehicles and related technologies, as well as energy efficiency improvement for end use products.
Moniz and Miao agreed on the importance of expanding joint work to promote efficient industrial use of energy and inter-operability of electric vehicles.
The energy secretary also met with the China Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Xu to discuss collaborations on nuclear power and nuclear security, including joint efforts to reduce use of highly-enriched uranium in research reactors around the globe.
Moniz wrapped up his visit to China by meeting with Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang to reviewing research progress and considering expansion of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).
CERC, launched by President Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2009, serves as a framework for joint research in key areas, including energy-efficient buildings, low-carbon coal technologies and electric vehicles.