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U.S., China need to boost dialogue to resolve misunderstanding: experts


07:59, September 04, 2012

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Washington and Beijing, as the world's top and second biggest economies, should emphasize more on bilateral dialogue to clear up their misunderstanding amid U.S. refocusing on the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. experts said before the upcoming China visits by two senior U.S. offiicals.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a two-day visit, while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is to visit Beijing in mid-September.

Two U.S. experts, in recent interviews with Xinhua, said they believe Beijing and Washington should continue the existing dialogue mechanisms, such as the annual cabinet-level U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, to avoid misunderstanding and enhance cooperation.

"We just need to continue to use the dialogue mechanisms that we have, to use them more effectively, be very transparent with each other," said Bonnie Glaser, a veteran China expert at the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"We need to try to take each other's interests into account and understand each other's policies and priorities and avoid miscalculations," she said.

She also suggested the two major powers "build some confidence by giving advance notice to each other when we plan to do things."

Noting that both countries will have a power transition in 2012, Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institute, said the two sides should avoid "taking any new initiatives" to "prevent really bad things from happening."

Clinton's and Panetta's visits come at a sensitive time, when the territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea are escalating between China and several other Asian nations.

The United States, which claims not to take sides in these disputes, is somewhat blamed for the rising tensions due to its de facto support to the parties opposite to China.

However, echoing the Obama administration's position, both Glaser and Lieberthal denied Washington's efforts to contain China, saying the current U.S.-China relation is much different from the tug-of-war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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