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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Bumpy US Chinese relations back on track

September 11, 2010

Halted because of US weapon sales to Taiwan and
Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, direct talks
between Beijing and Washington are back on the
agenda. The renminbi, Chinese imports and joint
military exercises are main issues. President Hu
will be in the United States in September.
Asia News
September 9, 2010

Beijing -- The governments of China and the
United States agree on the need for more stable
relations, increasingly vital for both nations,
but marked by different views on economic,
military and diplomatic issues. Taiwan, custom
duties, protectionism and the value of the
renminbi have caused a chasm between the two
sides, which are now trying to repair channels of communication.

The first signal in the new course comes from
Chinese Wen Jiabao who is planning to use a
meeting with US President Barack Obama later this
month to make an offer to increase "vigorously"
imports from the United States, in an effort to
aid economic recovery and ward off US protectionism, diplomats say.

The closed-door meeting is part of a series of
diplomatic, economic and military steps taken by
the two countries in order to improve bilateral relations.

A second signal was yesterday’s meeting in
Beijing between Chinese President Hu Jintao and
two senior White House officials, National
Economic Council Director Larry Summers and
Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

The three came together after officials from both
governments met for three days without Hu’s
participation. Their meetings over, the president
said, "I've heard your discussions have gone
well. I am sure that this visit will certainly
enhance mutual communication and mutual trust.
Since President Obama assumed office, China-US
relations have on the whole maintained healthy
development thanks to the efforts of both sides," he added.

None of the participants explained what was said
during the talks but the two nations have several
points of contention on the table. Washington
wants the revaluation of the renminbi, which
China’s artificially keeps low, in order to make
US manufacturing more competitive. Hitherto,
Beijing has refused to comply with such a
request, which it views as a domestic issue, but
has inched its currency upward a little bit, a
move welcomed in the United States.

For its part, China has expressed concern for US
military operations off its coast. In recent
months, the US Navy has carried out a number of
joint military exercises with South Korea.

China has responded to the US show of force by
deploying its navy. Through a spokesman for the
People’s Liberation Army, it also warned the Americans of not going too far.

The Yellow Sea is another major issue as four
Asian nations claim a piece of that body of
water. For Washington, it is also an important
card to use in its negotiations with Beijing on economic matters.

Some resolution in that area seems to have come
anyway. The two countries have in fact agreed to
resume military exchanges, indicating improving
Sino-US ties after months of tension. Military
exchanges had been put on ice eight months ago
when the US Congress approved arms sale to
Taiwan, and Obama hosted the Dalai Lama at the White House.

The issue is expected to be on the discussion
table during a state visit to the US by President
Hu Jintao in January next year.

Originally scheduled for this fall, the visit was
postponed indefinitely to show Beijing’s
displeasure, something it does whenever it cannot get its way.
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