About the Author: Richard Buangan serves as the Deputy Press Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
In this city of acronyms and abbreviations, the term "S&ED" gained added meaning this week as hundreds of our Chinese counterparts converged on the city of Washington to join us in launching the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Born from the economic-leaning Strategic Economic Dialogue launched during the Bush administration, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue was an initiative of President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao to elevate the U.S.-China relationship to provide a forum in which a host of issues can be considered. Secretary Clinton hosted her counterpart Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Treasury Secretary Geithner hosted Vice Premier Wang Qishan for extensive talks that were divided into two “tracks:” the strategic track and economic track. President Obama, realizing the importance of such a forum, joined the discussion by addressing delegates at the opening session.
The S&ED promises to underscore the Obama Administration’s commitment to nurturing what many believe to be one of world’s most important bilateral relationships. As a U.S. diplomat working in Beijing, I can testify to the enormous amount of discussion that happens on a wide-range of issues, from climate change, to the global financial crisis, to energy security. Often times, these discussions take place at different times of the year, by different cabinet-level secretaries, at different places. The U.S.-China S&ED seeks to be the overarching forum from which the United States and China can share ideas that provide a framework for the more detailed discussions that will happen elsewhere.
Read Richard Buangan's next entry about the S&ED: U.S. State Department Opens House for U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.