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China, "America is the Strategic Partner”

Posted January. 12, 2005 22:45,   


Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on January 12 that China proposed regular strategic discussions with the U.S. similar to U.S.-Japanese security talks in order to consult about East Asian matters such as North Korean nuclear programs and Taiwan.

According to a source, China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo visited the U.S. to meet Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, the security adviser, in December 2004 to suggest regular strategic meetings of the deputy-secretary class for security issues between the two countries.

The paper analyzed that the suggestion is a step forward to create diplomatic and security channels with America, to not “antagonize” the second Bush administration, and also to elevate the relationship to a strategic partnership in the long term.

It is said that at those meetings, China intends to cover a variety of issues including energy policies and security schemes for Asia, points of current contention with Japan, international terrorism, and North Korea.

According to the Nihon Keizai, a top American official said, “It is not easy to build diplomatic channels with China of the same level to what we have with Japan, an ally,” but some in the U.S. government argue for accepting China’s proposal, considering its national status.

During the Clinton administration, the U.S. called China a “strategic partner” and strengthened cooperation with China in matters of diplomacy and security. However, the Bush administration does not use that phrase.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com