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EPA Administrator Works to Advance Environmental Partnerships with China

Release Date: 12/01/2008
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 ;(202) 564-7827 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 1, 2008) EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is joining other Bush Administration cabinet members for meetings with senior Chinese officials during the fifth session of the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED V), Dec. 4-5 in Beijing. Johnson also is using the visit to advance cooperation with public and private environmental partners in China.

Johnson begins his trip in Shanghai with a roundtable discussion of U.S. and Chinese business leaders on the importance of sound environmental regulation and consistent enforcement in helping the business community be good environmental stewards. Later, he will address a student forum at Tongji University about the close link between economic performance and environmental quality, and the role of business in implementing good environmental policies in China.

From Shanghai, Johnson will travel to Xi'an in central China for meetings with officials of the Northwest Regional Supervision Center (RSC) and the provincial Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB). Six RSCs have been created since 2002 by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection to assist provincial environmental officials in promoting good environmental practices and proper enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Johnson will learn more about the evolving relationship between the RSCs and the provincial EPBs, and will share lessons from the U.S. regarding the working partnership between EPA regional offices and local governments.

Johnson concludes his visit in Beijing, where he will meet with members of both the U.S. and Chinese Business Councils for Sustainable Development (BCSDs). The members will highlight progress on a memorandum of understanding with EPA on clean development, including the improved environmental performance by China's cement companies, which produce about half of the world's total cement. The SED V discussions follow, with Johnson joining other U.S. and Chinese environment and energy officials to discuss progress and future initiatives under a Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework.

The SED, established by Presidents Bush and Hu in Sept. 2006, is a forum to manage the economic relationship between the U.S. and China on a long-term, strategic basis. By setting priorities in the broader context of a bilateral economic relationship, the SED provides a framework, gives direction and creates momentum to foster cooperation and resolve concerns across a broad range of economic issues.

More information on EPA's Asia program: http://epa.gov/international/regions/Asia/index.html