US Officials Arrive in Beijing for Strategic Dialogues

Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew arrived in Beijing Wednesday for the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, taking place July 10-11. US officials are stressing the meeting as a way to soothe the relationship with China and seek areas of common interest in East Asia, as regional security dynamics are undergoing shifts. A Chinese delegation recently visited Seoul for a state visit, declining to visit the North, prompting yet another volley of missile testing. “The United States does not seek to contain China,” Kerry said at the opening remarks of the session Wednesday. Kerry added the two countries have several common and pressing security matters to discuss. He specifically mentioned the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” China is currently participating in the annual Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC) sponsored by US Pacific Command, but it has also made it clear that it is wary of the recent Japanese revamp of its so-called “collective self defense” policy, which Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel enthusiastically endorsed.