7th S&ED focuses on consensus & differences

Officials from China and the United States are holding the seventh China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the sixth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) on June 23-24, 2015 in Washington DC.

Established by US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in April 2009, the S&ED focuses on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global areas of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest. The CPE promotes and strengthens people-to-people ties between the two countries in the fields of education, culture, science and technology, sports, women’s issues, and health.

China is ready to work with the US to seriously implement the consensus reached by leaders of both sides, enhance strategic communication, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, properly handle differences, so as to push for new progress in the building of a new model of major power relationship between China and the US,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press release. The discussions take place as tensions have mounted of late on concerns over China’s facilities in disputed areas.

According to the diplomatic discussions so far, the security talks within the framework of the Strategic Security Dialogue (SSB), actually the highest-level civilian-military conversation between the two countries this year (2015), have been “candid and to the point in dealing with issues where we disagree and are very good for trying to find ways to narrow our differences on these most sensitive issues in the relationship,” the US State Department Office of the Spokesperson explained in a special briefing.

On the economic front, two-way trade between China and the United States has grown from $33 billion in 1992 to over $562 billion in goods in 2013. China is currently the third largest export market for US goods (after Canada and Mexico), and the United States is China’s largest export market. US foreign direct investment (FDI) in China was $61 billion in 2013, up from $54 billion in 2012.