Amid a flurry of regional hotspot issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue is an opportunity for the world's sole superpower and a major rising power to learn how to cooperate with each other on overlapping security interests, experts said.
The fourth round of the S&ED is scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Beijing.
Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo will join US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to co-chair the annual double-channel dialogue on macroeconomic policies and major international issues.
High-ranking officials from more than 20 government agencies on both sides will attend the gathering. Bilateral foreign policies, climate change, energy security, the Sudan issue and the security situations in Southeast Asia, among others, are expected to be discussed at the high-level talks.
"Against the background of regional hot issues, how Beijing and Washington will coordinate mutual stances has attracted particular attention," said Qu Xing, director of the China Institute of International Studies.
Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said with China's rapid growth and the eastward shift of the strategic focus of the US, deeper strategic trust has been a key precondition for a healthy partnership between the two world powers.
"We noticed that this round of dialogue has put more attention on the small-scale talks (which are more secretive and usually touch upon sensitive issues). Besides, there will be a second round of strategic security talks. Such an arrangement reflects the common will of both sides to make the dialogue a more in-depth and productive one," Jin said.
Under the framework of the S&ED, the first Asia-Pacific strategic security talks, which brought together diplomatic and military personnel from both sides, were launched last year as part of the broader dialogue mechanism.
"This kind of security dialogue remains particularly important, especially at a time when regional security tensions have deteriorated following Pyongyang's failed rocket launch and the escalated confrontation between China and the Philippines on China's Huangyan Island," Qu said.
"It is expected that China and the US ... can find the way for a major rising country to get along with a holding power," Xinhua said on Wednesday.
The talks, which will take place ahead of both the US presidential elections and China's upcoming leadership transition, have further attracted attention from the international community, said Li Xiangyang, director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The US is expected to continue to urge China to accelerate reforms of its State-owned financial sector and the exchange rate of its currency, said Song Hongru, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the CASS.
"(But) considering the basic balanced exchange rate level the yuan has approached and China's decision to allow bigger daily fluctuations, the yuan's exchange rate issue is not expected to dominate this year's talks," Song said.
IPR protection is also expected one of the main topics of the Beijing dialogue, according to Zhang Yansheng, director of Institute for International Economics Studies under National Development and Reform Commission.
The US Trade Representative's annual Special 301 report — which designates the world's worst offenders of US intellectual property rights in Washington's eyes — on Monday once again listed China and Russia among the most serious offenders.
However, Beijing has long said it expects the US to take more practical measures and suspend its long-established restrictions on high-tech exports to China, reduce prejudices on China's investment and handle bilateral trade frictions in a more cautious manner.