“Regional security will be high on the agenda for discussion when Secretary of State Clinton meets with her counterparts early next week in Beijing for the biannual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The South Korean government plans to release its report on the cause of the sinking of the Cheonan naval vessel this week (Thursday), putting pressure on the Americans and Chinese to reconcile their positions during the high-level S&ED. The U.S. position seems to be in tow with Seoul -- to push for U.N. Security Council and other actions that reprimand Pyongyang, on the presumption that North Korea was behind the ‘external explosion’ that appears to have sunk the ship. The Chinese are likely to see ambiguity in the findings of the investigation, and to be uncomfortable with further actions to ‘punish’ and isolate the DPRK -- particularly if there remains a shadow of a doubt about what caused the tragedy. Neither Beijing nor Washington wants to add North Korea to the list of contentious topics in U.S.-China relations; expect intensive diplomacy to achieve a compromise position,” says John Delury, Associate Director of Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations.
John is in New York. To arrange an interview, contact the Asia Society communications department at 212-327-9271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.