China-US strategic and economic dialogue

Updated: 2014-07-09 07:31

(China Daily USA)

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China-US strategic and economic dialogue

Editor's note: Experts share their expectations of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Cheng Li,

Director of John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution

By design, the S&ED is intended to link security issues and economic issues in a strategic way. Previous rounds of the dialogue have shown that when the two countries have had irresolvable barriers on one track, they might have a better chance to achieve breakthroughs on the other track. Significant progress on economic cooperation could, in turn, prevent security tensions from deteriorating further.

Participants in this year's S&ED should be more engaged in "track linkage" than in the past. In the wake of growing nationalistic sentiment in the region, the US and China are unlikely to resolve any territorial or maritime disputes, nor will they suddenly begin to cooperate on cybersecurity. Yet, each side has strong incentives - and exceptional opportunities - to push for the market openness of the other.

The Third Plenum blueprint promises to be as consequential as Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms that began in 1978. President Xi Jinping has embraced the market as the "decisive force" to help the Chinese people realize the Chinese Dream. As such, leaders have made financial liberalization and service-sector development a top priority, especially in public health, education, entertainment, tourism, logistics and green consumption fields in which American businesses have an advantage and could benefit from market opening.

Chinese leaders explicitly claim that, as with China's accession to the WTO, foreign companies can help force the implementation of market reforms. At the same time, Chinese enterprises (including some large private firms) have become increasingly interested in investing in the United States - a trend that could lead to infrastructure improvements and job creation in the US.

The S&ED dialogue is timely, the stakes are high, the impact is multidimensional, and the opportunities should not be missed.