As U.S. Officials Begin Visit to Beijing, Relations are ‘Sound,’ China Says

A high-level U.S. government delegation is in Beijing to try to ease recent tensions. The Washington Post reports:

“Sound” and “stable” was how a top Communist Party official described the two countries’ relationship while receiving the U.S. delegation, which included National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and deputy national security adviser Thomas Donilon.

The meeting comes at a tense period in the U.S.-China relationship, which has been battered on several fronts. The United States has continued its fight with China over China’s trade surplus and currency valuation, with little to show for its arguments in the past few months. U.S.-South Korea military exercises near the coast of China have incensed Chinese officials, as did President Obama’s meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and a U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, both of which happened earlier this year.

Rhetoric on both sides has ratcheted up in recent weeks on national security issues – with China’s state-owned party papers denouncing U.S. interference in South China Sea issues, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton responding in July at an ASEAN meeting that that area is part of her country’s “national interest,” which of course set off more fuming in party papers.

On Monday, both sides expressed hope that a flurry of meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials that are scheduled in coming weeks may help to thaw some of the recent difficulties.

See also:
– “The Summers China Mission” from the Wall Street Journal
– “Chinese, U.S. discuss bilateral ties, global economy” from Xinhua
– “China, US meet amid tensions over trade, military” from AP.

September 6, 2010 1:47 PM
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