America – China: Institutionalization of bilateral cooperation

In recent years, the developments of the US-Sino relations have been a hot issue facing international public opinion and international political analysts. Most of (major/ leading) big news agencies were present/ came to Beijing to report on/ cover the 4th US-China strategic and economic Dialogue. This is the most important dialogue mechanism in the largest scale and the highest level in the 60 US – China Dialogue mechanisms, also a Dialogue mechanism and can be called a forum of the greatest importance and scale among 60 Dialogue mechanisms between China and the US ranging from political to economic, security and culture matters since the establishment of US-China strategic partnership in 1998, which was jointly declared by US President Bill Clinton and Chinese President Jiāng Zémín.

The US-China strategic and economic Dialogue started in 2006 in Washington and since then it has been held every two years or rotationally every two years/? every two years or on rotating basis. In the first two meetings, the two sides’ delegations were led by Ministers of Finance and have been upgraded to the Deputy Prime Minister and the State Councilor on the part of China and the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury, who are accompanied by hundreds of assistants and businesses from two nations.

The Dialogue is held / takes place in the context of various and complex changes in national, regional and global situations/ in the context that there exist many complicated problems in the world, the region and the two countries. The two countries are coming under the influences of / are being affected by global financial crisis, particularly the public debt crisis in Euro zone. In the US, while tackling obstacles/ problems to recover the economy, Obama’s administration is busy preparing for the presidential election campaign at late this year. China is in the process of changing development methods/ models/ modes and at the same time preparing for its 18th party Congress and solving domestic problems.

Regarding the US-Sino relations, the recent years have been witnessed disagreement in political and economic affairs, mutual distrust in a number of bilateral issues. Besides, concerning the South China Sea problem, the two countries have made unfriendly gestures and statements/ have behaved in an unfriendly way. The US has thrown/ expressed its discontent over/ have been discontented China’s moves which are causing tension in the SCS such as the Scarborough Shoal conflict tension between China and the Philippines. The US is publicly supporting the Philippines by tripling military aid in 2011, carrying out/ launching/ conducting joint common military exercises with the Philippines while affirming its neutral stance/ stating that it will not support the use of force by any party. China expressed its concern/ is concerned about US increasing presence and its strengthening the alliances with regional countries namely Australia, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and its boosting relations with ASEAN.

The disagreement/ Differenes between the US and China remains tense surrounding/ on/ regarding international issues such as the crisis in Syria where China and Russia are opposed to military intervention. Regarding the embargo against Iran, while the US and the West are imposing more continuous economic sanctions to this country, China continues buying oil from Iran and opposes to any military adventures against the country. Many differences remain unsolved such as the nuclear issue of North Korea, the US sale of weapon to Taiwan and other economic and trade issues.

However, in the first half of the year 2012, the bilateral relations witness positive developments such as the visit of Vice President Xi Jinping to the US in February and one by the Minister of Defense in May.

The 4th US-China Dialogue wide ranging issues dealing with important world, regional as well as bilateral issues.

China emphasized that it is necessary for the two countries to increase cooperation and solve differences in an appropriate manner, together build a new relationship as those of great powers, establish cooperative partnership with new thinking, with realistic and effective practices, on the basis of equality and mutual understanding; promote effective cooperation in many areas. The cooperation between the US and China will bring about many opportunities for them as well as for the world; the confrontation between the two will bring damages to all parties

 According to the US,/ the US held that the two sides need to promote bilateral cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits and mutual respect, which “allows two countries to develop without conflicts or unhealthy competition and fulfill responsible towards/ display (show/ take shoulder) to the international community”. The promotion and acceleration of mutual understand is of great necessity. Two countries need to continue the security and strategic security dialogue mechanism to increase/ build strategic mutual confidence, develop stable and strong bilateral military relations, maintain consultation dialogue such as: the 4th US-China consultation on the security of Asia Pacific and consultation between two Ministries of Foreign Affairs on foreign policies, international and regional issues; conduct dialogue on  human rights, strategic security consultation, control military and on the fight against the proliferation of W.M.D (weapons of mass destruction). The first US – China dialogue on the law of the sea and geographical polarization will be held.

There are several new points in this dialogue: the consensus/ agreement on the building a mechanism for dialogue on maritime security in autumn 2012 and the exchange views on cyber security.

In terms of finance and economy/ in economic and trade areas, the two sides have struck/ concluded 67 deals/agreements – the highest number compared with the last 3 rounds. The US highly appreciated number of economic concession made by China, such as Chinese commitment to intellectual rights protection, the acceptance to reduce exportation subsidies, loosen financial liberalization facilitating foreign stock companies access to China, reform import tax on foreign products, reduce privileges for state enterprises, reform financial sectors liberalizing the movements of capital into and out of China. It is worth noting that China has agreed to increase the value of USD to the Yuan from 0.5% to 1%.

The US has (made the commitment to V-ing) pledged to loosen the hi-tech items to China and for the first time allowed Chinese Commercial Bank to buy shares from a American banks. Still, the US believe that China needs to widen the exchange rate margin more.

In terms of/Regarding the issue of democracy and human rights, the US has proactively played up the important of democracy and freedom. The US holds that “The demand on citizen’s dignity and laws must be met by all nations” and urges China to “protect human rights if China is become a more powerful and prosperous nations”.

In terms of/ Concerning the SCS, the differences surrounding the Philippines issue remain. At this time, this issue was only within the framework of maritime security in general and was limited to basic viewpoints/ and both sides stopped at some basic principle. The US restated some criteria including the conformity to / abiding international law, UNCLOS 1892, neither putting pressure nor using force in dispute resolution/ avoiding pressure and the use of force on tackling disputes. China interpreted its territorial claims in line with international law.

This Dialogue is the most significant strategic and economic dialogue forum in the US-Sino relations after high-level talk. The two sides have expressed their goodwill during the meeting. China offered several concessions to economy, especially in relaxing Yuan-USD exchange rate to elicit US support in some sensitive problems. The US showed moderate stance on human rights issues and frequently repeated President Obama’s point: “The US applauses a powerful, prosperous and successful China”.  China has expressed its high regard for this dialogue through the fact that all 4 Chinese high-ranking leaders namely President Hu Jin Tao, PM  Wēn Jiābǎo, Vice President Xi Jinping, Deputy PM Lǐ Kèqiáng received the US delegation.

In the view of international analysts, in the current situations, both the US and China are seeking for a new frame work of relations through mutual concessions. Although this framework has not been completed, with the Dialogue, China has taken suited steps as the US is strengthening its presence in Asia Pacific to contain China in the region. To continue with its development, China has made concession to avoid a direct confrontation with the US. The US tentatively responded to China suggestions in hope of reducing adverse effects of China’s development on US strategic interest. The US continues to promote China to renovate its economy and human rights and share responsibility in regional and global issues.

Yet, these concessions and the results of Dialogue are not enough to make major shifts in bilateral relations. Although mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation are further strengthened through the Dialogue, competition to contain eachother in strategy and economy have not been removed and will continue. Talking about a specific result, this Dialogue has arguably promoted “mechanization” and “regularization” of bilateral relations, thus maintaining and developing the relations in various fields.

Dịch từ báo Việt Mỹ số 48

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