Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Opinion:New dialogue serves as first major step to build new-type China-U.S.relationship

WASHINGTON, July 9- The fifth China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), to be held here Wednesday, will serve as the first major step to implement the bilateral consensus on building a new type of major-country relationship.

This round of dialogue, to be co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi together with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry, will be the first high-level dialogue since Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama held a summit in California in June.

At the unprecedented summit, which was regarded as having ushered in "a new chapter of trans-Pacific cooperation", both leaders pledged to seek to build a new model of relationship featuring coordination and cooperation instead of rivalry and confrontation.

They also agreed to continue the existing bilateral dialogues and exchanges, which were applauded for playing a crucial role in enhancing mutual trust, expanding cooperation and managing disputes.

In fact, the new round of S&ED is necessitated not only by the need to implement the consensus of the Xi-Obama summit, but also by the urgency to deal with differences and tackle shared challenges.

While endeavoring to shift the gear of economic development so as to sustain its growth, China is facing daunting challenges including shortage of resources, worsening pollution and uneven development among regions.

The U.S. economy is still reeling from the worst economic slowdown since the 1930s, as its recovery is far from steady and sufficient. It also faces major challenges such as spiraling fiscal deficit, ongoing sequestration and lingering high unemployment.

No doubt, deepening economic cooperation and increasing bilateral trade and investment between the two largest world economies will benefit not only both countries, but also the global economy as a whole.

Meanwhile, global security also demands for closer China-U.S. cooperation, at a time when the tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high, the Syrian civil war worsens, the Iranian nuclear crisis looms large, and terrorism still poses threats.

As the U.S. continues to carry out its rebalancing policy in the Asia-Pacific region by increasing its military presence and involvement in regional territorial disputes, China and the U.S. need to further promote mutual trust and build confidence through dialogues and military-to-military exchanges.

This round of S&ED is regarded as significant because it will be the first chance for the newly-appointed senior officials from both governments to get to know each other and establish working relationships. Progress is hoped to be made on some pressing issues including trade and investment, cyber security, climate change and military-to-military exchanges.

Undeniably, the recent controversy over Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the U.S. wide-ranging global surveillance and cyber spying operations, has complicated the situation to some extent.

This episode offers an opportunity for the two countries to start serious discussions on cooperating to create rules in the cyberspace.

It is desirable that the new round of S&ED will bear tangible fruits, so to pave the way for further advancing the cause of building a new type of China-U.S. relationship.

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