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S&ED talks productive, U.S. analysts say

05-12-2011 13:59 BJT Special Report:3rd Round of China-U.S. S&ED |

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- This week's China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) was viewed as productive, not least because the talks have moved away from focusing on currency issues to include a broad array of discussion points, U.S. analysts said.

Moreover, they said the meetings for the first time included talks between senior members of both countries' militaries, in which both sides were able to air out concerns.

The analysts said the tone between the two countries has become more positive since Chinese President Hu Jintao's January visit to Washington, and the latest S&ED talks continued those sentiments.

Philip I. Levy, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said while Congress and the Obama administration are still interested in the currency issue, U.S. lawmakers are also listening to the U.S. business community, which is more interested in investment opportunities than exchange rates.

"The Obama administration has been freed up to pursue a more fruitful commercial diplomacy because it's no longer facing the dire threat of damaging currency legislation coming out of Congress," he said. "And that makes for more constructive talks."

Dan Mahaffee, special assistant to the president at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, said while currency may continue to be an issue and members of Congress may latch onto it, it shows a certain amount of maturity in the relationship that negotiations were able to continue beyond that point.

TALKS SEEN AS PROGRESS

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Tuesday during a meeting with World Bank leaders that the meetings yielded a satisfactory outcome.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made similar remarks at a press briefing the same day, saying she believed the two sides "made quite a bit of progress" in the last three dialogues.

Experts said such meetings are not always measured in terms of what agreements were made and how many, and this week's dialogue helped to build a more constructive relationship.

"We do that a brick at a time," said Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to China.

"I think some important bricks were laid down in this bilateral dialogue. But it takes time to build the edifice. And therefore I think that this dialogue will lead to the potential for more progress in the future," he said.

One new development that the analysts are crediting as a step forward is the creation of the strategic security dialogue -- a forum in which senior military leaders from both sides can sit down and air out their concerns.

Mahaffee said the platform serves not only to provide a useful conduit between the U.S. and Chinese militaries, but also allays many concerns from regional partners.

CHALLENGES REMAIN

Challenges, however, remain, such as investment barriers, the analysts said.

Levy said the biggest concern for Chinese firms entering U.S. markets has been security reviews. Such was the case last year when Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd saw its attempted purchase of a U.S. company blocked by the U.S. Committee of Foreign Investment, which cited security concerns.

"So the question is how they get through these opaque security reviews," he said.

In turn, U.S. firms have said they have had difficulty penetrating the indigenous innovation requirements.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he is confident that there will be "ongoing improvement" for U.S. companies operating in the Chinese markets, adding that the Obama administration "welcome(s) Chinese investment in the United States," which he said will continue to expand "very very rapidly."

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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