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Cablegate: Doe Secretary Chu and China Science Minister Co-Chair First

VZCZCXRO1375
PP RUEHAST RUEHCN RUEHDH RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHSL RUEHTM RUEHTRO RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3180/01 3310859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270859Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6957
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0551
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0001
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1844
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9778
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0790
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 2023
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3633
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0667
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 9427
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4977
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0009
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4651
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0880
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0520
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1098
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1396
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 1668
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0105
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0789
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0017
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 003180

STATE FOR EAP/CM-HABJAN, EAP/CM, EAP/PD-STOLTZ
STATE FOR OES DAS MIOTKE, OES/EGC, OES/ENV, AND OES/PCI
STATE FOR S/SECC-STERN, S/P-GREEN, EEB, AND ECA
STATE PASS TO CEQ SUTLEY
USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL
USDOC FOR MAC AND MAS
USDOC PASS USPTO FOR WU
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL/MKASMAN/GIANNINI-SPOHN
NSC FOR LOI

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PREL PGOV ECON PARM MARR SENV ENRG KGHG CH

SUBJECT: DOE SECRETARY CHU AND CHINA SCIENCE MINISTER CO-CHAIR FIRST
JOINT CLEAN ENERGY CENTER STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING

(U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

1. (SBU) On the eve of the U.S. President's first visit to
Beijing, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, China's Minister
of Science and Technology WAN Gang, and National Energy
Administration (NEA) Deputy Administrator LIU Qi (acting for
Administrator Zhang Guobao) convened the first steering committee
meeting of the new U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).
All three committed to increasing CERC's funding from the previously
announced amount of USD 15 million to a total of USD 150 million
over five years and agreed that future steering committee meetings
should be held at the Secretary-Minister level. Minister Wan
proposed that an executive secretariat be created to steer the
direction of CERC research and provide high-level guidance.
Secretary Chu said that the DOE will consider the naming of an
Executive Secretariat. National Energy Administration (NEA) Deputy
Administrator LIU Qi, however, provided a somewhat different view of
NEA's vision for the CERC than Minister WAN. Liu said in the
interest of streamlining and less bureaucracy, NEA preferred not to
establish an executive secretariat. Liu also suggested that the CERC
focus on clean energy standards and greater collaboration on nuclear
energy. [NOTE: NEA is one of three key partners on the Chinese side
involved in the CERC, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are the other key players.
END NOTE.] END SUMMARY

DOE and MOST Concur on Direction of Clean Energy Center
--------------------------------------------- ---------
2. (SBU) Secretary Chu began the meeting by noting that the United
States is upping its CERC funding commitment from USD 7 million to
USD 75 million over a 5-year period. Funding will come from both
public and private sources, and CERC participants will include
business, academia, and government. DOE will solicit public
comments as they assemble plans for projects in three key areas:
energy efficient buildings, clean coal and carbon capture and
sequestration (CCS), and electric vehicles. Secretary Chu also
proposed the establishment of an advisory committee composed of six
representatives from each side.

3. (SBU) Noting that "remarkable progress" had been made with
respect to the CERC, Minister Wan proposed that the steering
committee be chaired by the DOE Secretary, the MOST Minister and the
NEA Administrator and should meet annually, alternating locations
between the U.S. and China. Wan also suggested establishing an
executive secretariat composed of director generals (DGs) and deputy
director generals (DDGs) from NEA, CAS, and the Ministry of Housing,
Urban, and Rural Development (MOHURD) to manage the relationship,
and named CAO Jianing, MOST's DG for International Cooperation, as
Executive Secretary for the Chinese side. Below the Executive
Secretariat, Wan agreed on the creation of a joint advisory panel,
and suggested it be composed of experts from enterprises,
universities, and research institutes and selected by the executive

BEIJING 00003180 002 OF 003


secretariat. Finally, Wan said that China will match the U.S.
effort to increase funding and committed USD 75 million to fund CERC
projects in the three areas that Secretary Chu noted. Wan said that
DOE and MOST have already agreed on funding mechanisms and both
sides should jointly develop plans for funding three projects (one
in each key area) every year.

4. (SBU) Secretary Chu agreed with the management approach that is
outlined in the protocol, which calls for a principal-level steering
committee and a joint advisory panel with six members on each side.
With respect to adding an executive secretariat, Chu said that DOE
will give it full consideration and work to name the advisory
members soon. Experts in the three key areas will be identified for
the joint advisory board on the U.S. side, but the Secretary
cautioned that the two sides must have close scientist-to-scientist
exchanges and collaboration to avoid heading in independent research
directions. Having highly focused research projects would also help
avoid this situation. He also suggested that some of the advisory
panel members be from industry to provide the industry perspective
on CERC's R&D effort.

NEA Has a Somewhat Different View of Cooperation
--------------------------------------------- ---
5. (SBU) Noting that his boss NEA Administrator ZHANG Guobao was
out of the country, NEA Deputy Administrator LIU Qi said he was
relaying Zhang's ideas on the structure of the CERC. According to
Liu, NEA is concerned that too much bureaucracy will slow the pace
of CERC R&D; therefore, it is NEA's position that an executive
secretariat should not be established. Liu suggested that those
carrying out CERC projects work directly with their respective
counterparts rather than having an executive secretariat steer the
direction of research. Although NEA concurred with having clean
coal and CCS as a primary focus of CERC, Liu's priorities for other
areas of research also seemed to deviate from those of MOST. Liu
suggested that previous discussions on setting renewable energy
standards, which took place during the U.S.-China Energy Policy
Dialogue in October, should be folded in to the CERC scope and said
that NEA would be sending a delegation to the U.S. soon to discuss
this issue. Liu, noting intense national policy focus on nuclear
power, also suggested greater collaboration on nuclear energy.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: NEA Deputy Administrator Liu's proposals on how
the CERC should be structured were remarkably divergent from those
of MOST Minister Wan and it is somewhat surprising that such
differing views were discussed so openly with the USG during the
steering committee meeting. Moreover, NEA's desire to avoid
establishing an executive secretariat chaired by MOST suggests that
there is an ongoing bureaucratic scuffle between NEA and MOST for
the lead role in what is likely considered a very prestigious
bilateral cooperative mechanism. Moreover, a tussle among key
Chinese bureaucracies could have the potential to impede efficient
CERC collaboration. END COMMENT.

BEIJING 00003180 003 OF 003

7. (U) This cable was cleared by the Secretary Chu Delegation.

HUNTSMAN

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