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Jacob Lew's visit to China aims at more than economic issues | Updated: 2013-03-20 22:41

The visit of new US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to China is not only to discuss economic issues, but is also the first step in establishing a new Sino-US relationship, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visited China on March 19, the first high-level formal contact between China and the US since leadership changes on both sides.

The Sino-US relationship is of great international significance. It's routine to reiterate the significance of a bilateral relationship, especially at the beginning of a new political period. The new US treasury secretary's visit to China will not only focus on economic issues. It's important for both sides to ensure the possibility and the path of establishing a new relationship between the two great powers.

Issues discussed during Lew's visit include the RMB exchange rate, Internet security and intellectual property rights. In the past two or three years, the RMB's exchange rate with the US dollar has increased 16 percent, but other major international currencies, such as the Japanese yen, began to devalue to gain competitive power in international trade. There's no sufficient reason to force China to further revalue the RMB. Although there are some disputes in the intellectual property rights field, China has began to strengthen protection in recent years. Conflicts on these issues are not irreconcilable, and were advanced by former US treasury secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner during their visits.

Compared with his predecessors, Lew is an expert on the budget but lacks diplomatic experience, especially the experience of dealing with China. He also holds the title of the US president's special representative, which indicates that the aim of Lew's visit is to establish a new framework for the Sino-US bilateral relationship, and economic issues are only a part of it. Lew's visit to China is a new step in establishing a Sino-US political pattern for this round.

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