WASHINGTON, May 21 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States still needed "Feng Yu Tong Zhou" -- the Chinese idiom meaning "to stand together regardless of situation", U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday.
Geithner first used the phrase at the first round of U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) held here last July. He told Xinhua in an exclusive interview before his visit to Beijing for the second round on May 24-25 that it still held true in the face of the ups and downs in the bilateral relationship over the past year and the changing global situation.
Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead a group of 16 heads of U.S. government agencies to meet their Chinese counterparts for the annual bilateral talks.
"The relationship with China is very strong on all fronts," Geithner said. "I think that both countries have played enormously important roles in trying to lift the global economy away from financial crisis."
During the Beijing talks, the Obama administration's economic leaders will exchange views with their Chinese counterparts on four key areas, including promotion of trade and investment cooperation, strong recovery and more balanced growth, a resilient financial system, and strengthening of the international financial and economic architecture.
Geithner said there had been dramatic transformation in both economies, which contributed to a more balanced global recovery. He said China's domestic demand growth was encouraging and the country's current account trade surplus had fallen substantially.
On the U.S. side, he said the U.S. economy had been growing for almost a year. The recovery had been led by investment and exports, but not consumption. The country was also saving more.
"China and the United States are doing what we need to do to help contribute to a broader global economic recovery," Geithner said.
He said the S&ED was an enormously important mechanism because it provided the two countries the chance to build a much closer cooperative relationship on economic and financial issues at a time of great challenges globally.
As for the world economic situation, Geithner is relatively optimistic.
He did not agree with the current opinion that the sovereign debt crisis had become the biggest threat to the world economy.
"You see some of the challenges in Europe now. But I think we are in a much stronger position to manage those challenges," he said.
He said the global economy was in a much stronger place today and a much stronger position to withstand the pressure coming from Europe.
He noted the U.S. dollar had been rising because there was quite a lot of confidence in the U.S. economy around the world.
He told Xinhua the Obama administration was going to tackle its deficit issue seriously. The deficit is a major concern for China, which is the biggest holder of U.S. government assets.
On financial regulatory reform, Geithner said "the financial crisis caused enormous damage, so we have moved very quickly, more quickly than the other major economies, to put in place very strong fundamental sweeping reforms of our financial system, to help make sure that the U.S. is a source of growth and stability, not a source of instability of the global financial system."