WASHINGTON, DC – Engage China, a coalition of eleven financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement with China, with an emphasis on continued financial sector reform in China, released the following statement today:

“Engage China applauds the leadership of President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao for establishing the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). The first meeting of the S&ED takes place at a critical time for this important bilateral economic relationship.

“As the S&ED commences in Washington, members of Engage China respectfully urge U.S. and Chinese leaders to focus on greater market opening reforms in China’s capital markets. As nations around the globe contemplate regulatory reforms stemming from the financial crisis, it is sensible for China to pursue financial services modernization. Such reform and modernization will help China achieve its economic goals, including building a more services-based, consumer-driven economy, while also benefiting the economies of other nations.

“While current economic circumstances can complicate the relationship, we believe that they also offer a unique opportunity for the U.S. and China to build a more balanced, sustainable, and mutually beneficial relationship. Now more than ever, U.S. and Chinese leaders must work together to address the current challenges facing the global economy. We commend U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Vice Premier Wang Qishan for their support of the S&ED and their leadership on this important issue.”

The Engage China coalition is made up of the American Bankers Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, American Insurance Association, the Bankers’ Association for Finance & Trade, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Financial Services Forum, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Futures Industry Association, the Investment Company Institute, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.