Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Senior Coordinator and Executive Secretary for China and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the Department of Treasury David Loevinger previewed the upcoming U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will be joined for the Dialogue by the Chinese Co-Chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, for the third joint meeting of the U.S.-China S&ED in Washington, D.C. May 9-10.
Assistant Secretary Campbell said, "...In many respects, it is our most important venue, our mechanism if you will, for managing this very complex relationship between the United States and China. Following on the successful visit of President Hu Jintao to Washington earlier this year, our intent is to make sure that we follow through on many of the areas that the two leaders and their senior teams committed to work together on.
"Secretary Clinton leads the strategic component of our dialogue, and her counterpart is State Councilor Dai Bingguo. We've tried to add a few innovations to this year's discussion. In addition to extraordinarily deep Chinese participation on a range of issues from a host of ministries and government agencies in China, we are also trying to find time for the principals and their key teams to sit down together to talk in an intimate fashion on some of the most important and critical issues confronting the relationship at the current time.
"I think our intent is to have a candid and honest set of discussions on a range of issues, starting with regional problems. We want to compare notes on where we stand with respect to North Korea, and we will be very clear on what our expectations are for moving forward. We will want to talk about our joint approaches to Iran, given recent developments. And we will also look farther afield -- our current interests and recent efforts to discuss issues in Sudan and elsewhere.
"We will also have discussions about cross-cutting issues. One of the goals of these dialogues is to bring together people from a variety of agencies and to break down the barriers inside both of our governments to more effectively tackle issues like energy security, development, food assistance, and the like.
"Another innovation at this year's Strategic and Economic Dialogue is that we will have military representatives at a senior level from the Chinese side, joined by senior military representatives both from the Pentagon and U.S. forces in Hawaii. I think our goal is to have discussions that bring together critical diplomats and military officials. I think our goal here is to create greater understanding around issues that have the potential for miscalculation and inadvertence in our relationship, and I think we all recognize that these security issues are increasingly important in the smooth management of our relationship going forward.
"I do want to underscore it is our intention to raise issues of concern directly, honestly, and opening with our Chinese interlocutors, including issues of concern associated with human rights.
"I think with that, that's our overall presentation. We start on Sunday night, a small dinner at Blair House. The Secretary -- the two secretaries will be having meetings both together and in respective agencies. Part of the Chinese delegation will be having meetings in the White House. We will have strong participation at every level of our government, and I think we all recognize how important it is that these discussions proceed smoothly and that there is a candid and clear set of interactions between our two sides to avoid problems of misunderstanding and miscalculation."
You can read the full transcript of the briefing here.