Important Remarks 2010
October 21, 2010
Remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Embassy, Beijing
October 21, 2010
During President Obama’s visit to China last November 2009, he and President Hu made specific commitments to increase our cooperation on a number of issues of importance to both nations – including in fighting transnational crime and terrorism. Over the past two days, I have had the opportunity to meet with many of my counterparts from the Chinese government to discuss how we can continue to implement the commitments made by our two Presidents, and I believe we have made progress in a range of areas. We agreed that we will work together to achieve tangible results in anticipation of the visit of President Hu to Washington in January 2011.
In 2009, Presidents Obama and Hu agreed that we would deepen our cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism. They agreed we should exchange evidence and intelligence on law enforcement issues in a timely and reciprocal manner, undertake joint investigations, and provide investigative assistance on cases of mutual interest. Those were important agreements, and during our meetings this week, both sides discussed how our nations will be stronger when we work together on these matters and faithfully carry out commitments made by our Presidents.
China and the United States can and should be key law enforcement partners. As I said to my counterparts this week, in order to accomplish this, our relationship must be reciprocal. Both governments must share information in a timely and meaningful manner, and both governments must respond to requests for assistance from the other in good faith and with due speed. There are a number of potential joint investigations currently before us – in areas ranging from corruption, to narcotics, to terrorism – in which we have the opportunity to meet those standards, and I am hopeful that cooperation in several key cases will provide the foundation for a deeper, stronger relationship.
I also raised two others issues during my visit. First, Presidents Obama and Hu committed to an ongoing discussion over the rule of law and re-launched the U.S. China Legal Experts Dialogue. That dialogue, however, has yet to occur, and on this trip I emphasized the importance the United States places on this issue and urged that the experts convene early next year. A commitment to the rule of law, implemented by well-trained lawyers and independent judges, is essential to fighting corruption and ensuring a stable and prosperous society.
Finally, I discussed the need for the United States and China to work together to combat intellectual property theft. As I said earlier this week in Hong Kong, protection of intellectual property rights is a priority for the Obama Administration, for the Department of Justice, and for me. The United States and China have worked together to investigate and prosecute intellectual property offenses in the past, and I am committed to working with my counterparts in Beijing to produce even more concrete action in the future. I was heartened to see that, just this week; the Chinese government opened a new campaign against intellectual property crimes. As China continues its growth, it will be just as much in their interest as it is ours that we jointly pursue robust enforcement of intellectual property rights.
As President Obama has noted, the United States and China together might not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, but clearly those problems will not be resolved without our two countries pulling in the same direction. Cooperation between our two nations on law enforcement is essential, and I am hopeful that the dialogue we continued over the past two days will prove productive as we work together in the future.