July 9, 2014 (EIRNS)–Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew were in Beijing, today, for the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue; they distinguished themselves for wild defense of how great a success is the U.S. economy, and the how the Asia Pivot non-confrontational. Their delegation included Admiral Samuel Locklear, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, and others.
In his principal speech to the conference, Lew began with a snow-is-black presentation on how well the U.S. economy is functioning, especially creating new jobs. On the strategic side, Kerry did the equivalent snow job, in his defense of how benign the Asia Pivot is. Kerry, in an interview with CCTV the night before the confab began, was shown a map of the Pacific Basin by the TV host, who pointed out to Kerry all the military deals made by the U.S. with the Philippines, Australia, Japan, and so on, and then the interviewer asked pointedly, isn’t your Asia Pivot actually an “encirclement of China?” Kerry retorted vehemently: No. The U.S. is a Pacific nation. We are just cultivating relations with other nations of the Pacific. You are wrong to see a conspiracy. Kerry repeated this several times over the ensuing sessions, that “we are not trying to contain China.”
This is the 6th such Dialogue event, and though Obama in the past has joined with President Xi Jinping in affirming commitment to establishing a “major power relationship” between the two countries, there is little expectation that any of the outstanding issues between the two countries will be resolved at this meeting. It is also the 4th Strategic Security Dialogue event.
President Xi invited the delegates to the Diaoyutai Guest House where he gave a speech, reiterating the importance of finding a way of realizing this “major power relationship.” He said that any serious conflict between their two nations would be a “calamity.”
“We should recognise that the common interests of both sides is far bigger than our differences. We should respect each other, and treat each other as equals, respect each other’s sovereignty, integrity and rights, respect the choice of development path, and not impose our own will and way of dealing with things on the other. We should keep under control conflicts and frictions, and improve mutual understanding in a constructive manner through dialogue and negotiation,” Xi said.
The discussions will also involve strategic issues such as the disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea (with Japan).
Admiral Locklear, on July 8, met with Fang Fenghui, the Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. They pledged to control disputes and push ahead with relations between the two militaries. During the meeting, Fang said the two sides should cherish bilateral relations and appropriately handle their disputes while seeking more common ground. Fang urged the U.S. side to work with China to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world at large. Locklear said that the two sides should take a long-term perspective, handle disputes and advance military ties under the requirements of the leaders of the two countries. After China’s recent participation in the Rimpac exercises with the US and others, the US has invited China back for the next Rimpac.
On the economic front, discussions are to include the possibility of a Bilateral Investment Treaty. Not much headway has been made on such a treaty heretofore. This will be the 13th meeting on the topic! Also, topics include pollution–a big problem in China. But the U.S. delegation includes such menacing greenies as the State Department’s enviro guru, Todd Stern.