High level US-China talks begin

World Today

High-level talks between China and the U.S. begin Monday in Washington, D.C. It’s the seventh time officials from the world’s two largest economies will gather to address tensions and find common ground on a whole host of issues.

Earlier at a briefing, the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said China would seek to “constructively handle and control” differences with the U.S. He said the dialogue will focus on preparations for President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. in September.

This year’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue come amid heightened tensions over territorial disputes, cyber-attack allegations, and the economic influence across the Pacific Rim.

But some experts in the U.S. believe that the South China Sea is not fundamentally an issue between the U.S. and China.

“There’s an unwavering determination on the part of the U.S. to avoid military confrontation, including with China,” said Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Rather, it’s an issue between China and the ASEAN countries, he added.

On the economic front, three major topics will be put on the table, including structural reform, trade and investment, and the stability of the financial market.

As 57 countries have signed with China to become the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and 65 countries are encompassed along the Belt and Road initiative, a think tank in the U.S. said it’s time for the two powerhouses to maintain bilateral cooperation in spite of differences.

“There are some rules where China and the U.S. have the exact same interests,” said Adam Posen, President of Peterson Institute for International Economics. “As China continues to grow rich and grow large, and grow more technically sophisticated, it will have increasingly the same interests with the US and the western Europe. So we are going to want China to write the rules with us.”