US-China talks to focus on trade and currency
Dec 11 – 17
WHAT IT IS
US TREASURY Secretary Henry Paulson heads to China this week for the first meeting of the semi-annual Strategic Economic Dialogue. Mr Paulson and Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi will lead the talks on Thursday and Friday. Both sides are expected to discuss a range of problems, most notably, the ballooning trade deficit the US has with China.
WHY IT MATTERS
With its attention long riveted on the Middle East, the US, many in Asia felt, was simply not attending to its most important economic partner in the world.
That has changed with the Strategic Economic Dialogue. The dialogue is also crucial for US domestic politics. The Bush administration is facing mounting pressure to get the Chinese to carry out economic and currency reform or face a wave of protectionist measures in a Democrat-controlled Congress next year.