World News Brief, Wednesday July 29

US cabinet in meetings with Chinese leaders (+analysis); North Korea rules out return to six-party talks; Netanyahu resists settlement freeze; mass strike in South Africa; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S.-China Talks

The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue continues today in Washington (WashPost), as about two hundred senior Chinese officials meet with top figures in the Obama administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag.

President Barack Obama opened the dialogue yesterday by emphasizing the importance of the U.S.-China relationship in dealing with economic issues, as well as matters like climate change, nuclear proliferation, and transnational threats. Full text and video of Obama’s opening remarks at the meeting is available here.

The talks also touched on some areas of controversy. David Loevinger, senior coordinator for China at the Treasury Department, said the United States raised concerns about the yuan’s exchange rate, while China called for reform of the International Monetary Fund to give developing nations a stronger voice.

China’s Global Times says some prominent Chinese scholars are voicing skepticism about U.S. economic recovery plans laid out in the talks.

Xinhua has a Special Report on the Dialogue.

A new World Politics Review briefing looks at tension between the United States and China surrounding power struggles between the two countries’ navies in the South China Sea.


Clinton and Geithner, who are co-chairing the talks, outlined their agenda in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.


PACIFIC RIM: North Korea Open to Talks

North Korea said again it will not return to the Six-Party Talks (Guardian) on its nuclear program, but said it would be open to "a specific and reserved form of dialogue." Although the statement did not elaborate on the specifics of such a dialogue, the government has said in the past it would be willing to participate in direct talks with the United States.

In an interview with CFR, expert Roberta Cohen says Washington should develop a diplomatic strategy for Pyongyang that links human rights to economic and energy issues.

This CFR Backgrounder profiles the Six-Party Talks.

Philippines: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her state of the union address that she would not extend her time (WSJ) in office past her current term 2010 limit that ends in June 2010, despite speculation to the contrary. Arroyo, who will meet with Obama on Thursday to discuss security and climate change, focused most of her speech on the Philippine economy.



George Mitchell meets Benjamin Netanyahu.
150,000 workers on strike in South Africa.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on