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S&ED could change things: expert

By DONG LESHUO in Washington (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-06-19 11:08:41


Politicians and economists in Washington have been offering predictions on how next week's Seventh US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) will go.

"The S&ED is really a meeting between the working professionals at very senior level in the Chinese government and the US government," Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), said on Thursday.

"We've welcomed China's emergence on the world stage and participation in the global system," Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said at the Washington Foreign Press Center on Thursday.

"The US and China have a very complex, very consequential relationship. We don't always see eye to eye. But the fact is that global challenges require that we cooperate. They require collaborative solutions," Russel said.

Posen thinks that the US government has been hostile towards the Chinese government across a range of areas, particularly economics.

"The US government remains generally biased towards Chinese investment in the US in ways that I do not think are necessary," Posen said.

"I do think there has been too much emphasis on zero sum and conflict between the US and China on economic issues," Posen said.

"There just been a tone that the economic fear is as conflictual as the cyber. I don't think that's in the US' interest, I don't think it's in the world's interest. I think it's an unnecessary tone," Posen said.

"I'm hoping that the S&ED and the upcoming summit with President Xi can get the US to change that approach," Posen said.

Russel said that the S&ED and the CPE provide the US and China an important, regularized platform to strengthen their relationship, to deepen coordination, promote cooperation and manage and narrow the differences between the two countries.

"It plays a very important role in facilitating progress in the US-China relationship and US-China cooperation in the region and in dealing with global problems," Russel said.

Posen thinks that the narrative about the US failures should not "prevent us from making substantive progress at the S&ED".

"There is a whole range of issues to be dealt with, there are a bunch of professionals who know these issues and have been interacting with each other for a long time," Posen said.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty, Cyber issues and the issue of the South China Sea are likely to be the three big issues discussed at the S&ED, according to Nick Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow at PIIE.

Intellectual property rights are also likely to be on the list, according to Robert Hormats, vice-chairman of Kissinger Associates and former undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at US State Department from 2009 to 2013, who talked at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Tuesday.

The Seventh S&ED and the CPE taking place in Washington, DC from June 22 to 24 will be co-chaired by China State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Vice-Premier Wang Yang along with their US counterparts Secretary of State John Kerry and the Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew.