|Secretary Kempthorne and Minister Sun signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate future cooperation between the U.S. and China. The Understanding, which will be in effect for five years, replaces a similar agreement that had recently expired.|
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today welcomed a delegation from China headed by Sun Wensheng, the Minister of Land and Resources, and Zhou Wenzhong, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, in order to renew a cooperative agreement.
Members of the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, which closely parallels the functions of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management, the Office of Surface Mining and the Minerals Management Service, met with their U.S. counterparts and reviewed past and future cooperation between the two countries. Interior staff delivered presentations on fields of shared interest such as geology and mapping, land and management issues, offshore minerals management and mining reclamation.
“We have a strong, healthy and vibrant relationship.
I am glad that we can meet today to build on this relationship to benefit the Chinese and American peoples,” said Secretary Kempthorne during welcoming remarks to the Chinese delegation. “One of the areas in which we share a common bond is the desire to properly manage our respective lands and their resources and to protect our environment so that we can hand down to our children and grandchildren a better world. I am pleased that today we will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding to renew our partnership.”
"The Memorandum of Understanding we are about to sign expresses many of our shared wishes,” said Minister Sun. "We wish to further develop ongoing programs, hoping to create more favorable conditions and move them forward. We also wish to expand areas of collaboration, including land reclamation and offshore oil and gas to improve evaluation, royalties and legal frameworks."
The Memorandum of Understanding signed today by Secretary Kempthorne and Minister Sun will facilitate future cooperation between the U.S. and China. The Understanding, which will be in effect for five years, replaces a similar agreement that recently expired.
In keeping with President Bush’s Asia-Pacific Partnership, and consistent with State Department priorities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and address mining safety issues, the two countries will continue to work together on many vital issues related to energy development and environmental protection.
This was Minister Sun’s first visit to the United States and his first meeting with Secretary Kempthorne. After the signing ceremony and an exchange of gifts, Secretary Kempthorne hosted a luncheon in honor of Minister Sun.