Lew visit marks US-China re-engagement

March 19, 2013 • Business

China’s President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hand with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke as U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew watches from behind, during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. and China have begun to re-engage on knotty issues ranging from economic frictions to North Korea’s nuclear program following a months-long hiatus during President Barack Obama’s re-election and China’s installation of new leaders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Tuesday with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in the first high-level exchange between the sides in six months and the start of a series of meetings that will test the potential for cooperation between the world’s first- and second-largest economies.

Although the relationship is colored by mutual suspicion, the two sides now discuss an ever-broadening agenda, from military cooperation to food safety, said Jin Canrong, an associate dean of the School of International Relations at Beijing’s Renmin University. And their relatively swift resolution of a potentially crippling crisis last year over a dissident who sought U.S. protection seemed to take the relationship to a more stable level, he said.

“China-U.S. relations are much more mature than they were before, but the atmosphere is still strained,” said Jin, who frequently consults with leading Chinese diplomats.

Tuesday’s meeting between Xi and Lew came amid great misgivings in Beijing over Washington’s renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region and Washington’s concerns over China’s reluctance to pressure its mercurial ally North Korea and Beijing’s alleged state-sponsored computer hacking.

However, both men stressed the importance of the U.S.-China relationship.

“The president is firmly Login to read more

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