Senior Chinese and U.S. officials will gather on June 6 and 7 in Beijing for an annual high-level dialogue that involves the most agencies and covers the widest range of issues under the bilateral relationship.
The eighth Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), which will be held in parallel with the seventh High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), is of "quintet" significance as it takes place in a crucial year in which the United States is holding presidential elections and China is to host the Group of 20 (G20) summit.
Firstly, the dialogue will help implement the consensus reached by the presidents of the two countries, enhance strategic communication and advance mutually beneficial cooperation, and explore ways to boost cooperation to benefit both the two countries and the world at large.
Secondly, the dialogue will provide an opportunity for the world's two largest economies to coordinate policies before the G20 summit scheduled to be held in the east Chinese city of Hangzhou in September.
Bilateral coordination on economic polices and resultant better multilateral coordination would produce important results.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week that the G20 summit will "focus on the core challenges and prominent problems encountered by the world economy" as China will stick to the problem-oriented principle.
The four main modules set up for the summit are "innovative growth modes," "more efficient global economic and financial governance," "robust international trade and investment" and "inclusive and interconnected development."
Equally remarkable are the three priorities for this year's economic dialogue: macro-economic policy and restructuring, open trade and investment, and cooperation on stabilizing and regulating the financial market.
Such a high matchup between the four main modules and the three priority topics is not a mere coincidence. It signals the will of the two countries to seek remedies for the significant downward pressure facing the global economy.
Thirdly, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the economic dialogue between the two countries, which was preceded by the Strategic Economic Dialogue established in 2006. In the past decade, this dialogue mechanism played an active role in promoting mutual trust and avoiding miscalculation in bilateral economic relations, regarded as the ballast and the propeller for the entire bilateral relationship.
Setting the goals and approaches for the next 10 years at this year's economic dialogue would continuously propel the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
Fourthly, this year's S&ED, the last for the Barack Obama administration, will play a crucial role in linking the past and the future relations between China and the United States.
The strategic dialogue will cover such topics as building a new type of relationship for major countries, managing differences and sensitive issues, and the two countries' interaction in the Asia-Pacific, while the CPE will aim to promote institutionalized cooperation between colleges, universities and think tanks, explore new cooperative models between medical organizations and launch public medical and healthcare cooperation regarding a third country.
Though phasic results are expected on many issues, they are hard to achieve in a year or two. A smooth transition of the China policy from the Obama administration to the next is the key to the success of this year's dialogue.
Last but not least, the dialogue will serve as an opportunity to absorb stress. Daniel R. Russel, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said at a press briefing on May 31 that the S&ED is one of the instruments that helped the two countries "absorb some of the shocks."
Only through candid dialogue could the two countries clear the "negative energy" and inject "positive energy" into bilateral relations by expanding common interests.
(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2016)