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China, US Continue High-level Dialogue

China and the US started a second round of high-level strategic dialogue in Washington yesterday in an effort to maintain the momentum of improved bilateral relations.

The two-day talks, co-chaired by Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, were held four months after the first round in Beijing.

The topics during the closed-door meeting would be "broader" in scope compared with previous talks, insiders quoted by today's China Daily said.

Yin Chengde, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies on Sino-US relations, said the ongoing dialogue is expected to focus on issues of "strategic, overall and long-standing importance" such as trade, security and energy.

"It is also expected to pave the way for President Hu Jintao's visit to the US early next year," Yin told China Daily.

Yin said have gained a sound momentum this year thanks to frequent high-level visits and expanding communication channels.

"The Bush administration is adjusting its policies towards China, from a 'strategic competitor' to a 'stake holder'," Yin said.

The Taiwan issue, although still very important to Sino-US relations, is gradually dwindling in its significance in bilateral ties, said Yin.

"The dialogues will help strengthen understanding and mutual trust," he said.

But Yin said the structural contradictions in China-US relations would not change if the US adopts a policy of both "cooperation" and "containment."

The first dialogue came as a result of the consensus reached by Hu and his US counterpart George W. Bush during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Chile last year.

Bush visited Beijing on November 19 and met Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao for in-depth exchanges of views on Sino-US relations.

(China Daily December 8, 2005)

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