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  • whoever
    07-17 01:55 PM
    United nations, some days back I sent you a private message. could you please please reply to that private message as a private message? thank you.

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  • mbawa2574
    05-28 08:21 AM
    I think Indian Governernment should report this to WTO. America is creating conditions that are discriminatory and not business friendly. India should start cutting wings of American Companies selling goods in India. IT is our product and in case US people have problems with IT professionals from outside, they don't have any right to sell the goods to my people.

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  • kutra
    07-13 09:37 PM
    Disclaimer: I am an EB3-Indian with a PD of Oct 2003.

    Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?

    Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"

    I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.

    To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.

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  • jkays94
    05-24 02:31 PM
    I don't have the time to go one by one, but one of the arguments about "Zogby poll taken by anti-immigration" groups is at minimum comic. How about other polls posted along the years which show the obvious and logic, which is the American people (not employers of course) support lower immigration numbers ? Anyone surprised by that ?

    There are over 50 different instances referencing Lou Dobbs. He misleads and misdirects and he will flip flop when he is caught between a rock and a hard place on his wild claims. CNN by extension is fast establishing itself as an anti-immigrant media house for purposes of ratings, on which is it fast loosing ground. Their latest hire Glenn Beck ( only shows that promoting such an agenda seems to save CNN's ratings from plunging to the bottom :

    MON., MAY 22, 2006 VIEWERS

    FNC O'REILLY 2,105,000
    FNC HANNITY/COLMES 1,666,000
    FNC GRETA 1,494,000
    FNC HUME 1,341,000
    FNC SHEP SMITH 1,215,000
    CNN KING 885,000
    CNN DOBBS 702,000
    CNN BLITZER 592,000
    CNN COOPER 590,000
    CNN ZAHN 527,000
    CNNHN GRACE 487,000
    MSNBC HARDBALL 471,000


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  • Sunx_2004
    07-11 12:23 PM
    I'll tell you how I did it:

    1) USCIS administrative appeals office decisions (can be found by navigating around USCIS.GOV

    2) USCIS memos/interpretations/policies (can also be found on uscis)

    3) Go to department of state web-site. Navigate around it and you will find links to their procedures and interpretations

    4) monitor the forums and see postings

    5) immigration portal used to have links or summaries to AILA liaision minutes with service centers

    6) people used to send me their rfe's, denials and what they lawyers did to get them into the mess. Basically learning how people got into a mess and what uscis did to catch them or to deny their cases

    7) go to and look for foreign labor certification; there are FAQ's on perm labors and h-1b

    8) go to and read the INA and CFR's


    If a person is used to reading laws and understanding the hierarchy and then intertwining uscis procedure along with the various service center procedure then you will start to get a clearer understanding.

    All of the information is public. Don't rely on what your friend told you as they usually only know what someone else told them.

    I had a non compete agreement when I left my employer and couldn't work for one year. During that year; I had nothing to do other then watch tv and watch the portal. No matter how small a question was asked/posted I researched it through all the sources I mentioned above.

    Finally; don't do what you think is right or "gut feeling"...

    Research it; research it and research it some more. Sometimes what you read at first glance; you make a conclusion to your own benefit without understanding all the other laws/policies/procedures that override it.


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  • srinivas06
    08-05 02:23 PM
    I am really surprised to see a post like this and people taking about this.
    Several years back I have applied in EB3 category as my previous employer that is stupid Satyam computers manager did not give experience letter with the Skill Set due to some personal reasons. My company needs the experience letters with the Skill Set and all the Skill set should be mostly same as per our company lawyer. Now I have 11 years of experience with Bachelors in Engineering and I make decent money than most of the EB-2 guys. Do you want me to stay with EB-3 and you want to restrict me not to apply or port to EB-2? What kind of thinking is this?

    People wake up! Please discuss about what we can do collectively to solve the problem. Not wasting time on all these nonsense.


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  • kinvin
    02-25 07:41 PM

    Oh, I meant that, the quote is what Lou Dobbs would have said if would not have failed. Sorry about the confusion.

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  • sanju
    12-17 03:08 PM
    This is exactly I hate. To divert focus of terrorism to Hindu group, Muslim leader comes out - WOW!

    Sounds like LeT informed Hindu group in advance that they are going to attack so as a by-product they can kill Karkare. Ha ha ha.

    Times Of India Headline: Antulay raises doubts over Karkare's killing


    In the recent past, I expressed my views about the same subject on this forum. I was very angry with what happened in Mumbai. The desire to fix the wrong has not faded, but now that I look back, I regret some of the things I said at that time. My comments did not do any good and some of the coments offend few others on this forum. Those who felt offended by my comments are just as entitled to these forums as I am. I am not trying to be politically correct, just trying to say that it doesn't serves any purpose to discuss this issue on IV fourms.

    Branding all people from a specific faith doesn't help in anyways. For too long men have fought because of religion and each such time was avoidable.

    I do have a suggestion. To get some perspective, I suggest you watch the bollywood movie "New York", although I am not a big fan of bollywood movies.




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  • LostInGCProcess
    09-26 11:15 AM
    the universal health care would see us going the way of CA and europe with health care rationing, and long lines.

    My opinion on health care:
    I don't understand why, anytime when they talk about universal health care system, they think the line is going to be long???? Its totally wrong. First of all, I went to emergency the other day to a hospital, i had to wait 4 hrs....there was a long line here too with the supposedly worlds best health care system. And its not an isolated case....I heard from many of my friends too...who had similar experience. My cousin lives in UK, and I asked him if its true they have to wait in big lines to see the doctors? he laughed at me and said its not true at all..they get very good care.

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  • rheoretro
    11-12 04:46 PM
    It's at the very least peculiar that some states don't have any activity through IV. The one in which I live is one of those. Even more amazing, I personally don't know anyone in my city or any other city, stuck in my same situation because of retrogression. Strange, but true.

    Amen, brother/sister! Where are these half million people? 500,000 divided by 50 states makes for 10000 in each state (on an average; although I doubt that Alaska and Hawaii have that many, while states like NY, CA, NJ, IL, FL, TX, PA must beat the mean for sure, but still). 6500 ain't enough!


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  • validIV
    06-25 02:26 PM
    Your second point of buying 3-4 homes with 20% down each and building equity on rent is the classic strategy to head into multiple foreclosures at once. This was the exact thinking that got so many real estate speculators in deep whole. Show me a single major city that has good amount of jobs (Bay area/Boston/Seattle) and where the monthly rent covers the monthly mortgage payment+property tax+home insurance. If that were the case all these homeowners would not be underwater, they would just give their houses on rent!

    I am not foreclosed and neither is anyone I know. Who do you know is foreclosed? Were they smart or stupid in their investment? How much did they put down? Did they crunch the numbers and do the math?

    You do not invest without a plan to cover all scenarios and you definitely do not invest beyond your means. The people that caused the meltdown and caused foreclosures couldnt afford the property to begin with. Is that you? Do you fit into that category? If so, do not buy.

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  • thatwillbeit
    10-03 12:36 PM
    Excellent post dtekkedil

    You reiterate exactly what I have in my mind


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  • nk2006
    09-29 05:10 PM
    Whoever the president is - Obama or McCain - our/EB immigrants fate is more in the hands of congress.

    I was just watching the outcome of financial bailout bill - it failed in the house despite having the support of current president and two presidential candidates. This is about the much hyped out bailout plan - the outcome of this bill for sure affects pretty much every american - this bill failed in house despite all the major leaders urging house members to pass it. This shows all politics are local. The reason for failure of this bill is its not that popular with people - opinion polls on the original bailout plan showed majority of people didnt like it and wanted to some changes, while the current bailout bill is different from it - still many of house reps are wary to vote in favor of it. Especially the reps who are up for tough election this November. They are concerned about their election and dont give a damn to their leader. I think it would be same for EB issues - we need to continue to lobby with congressmen and if possible push our EB only aspects in some bill (live visa recapture) because once our issues are combined with general immigration issue we will get run over for sure either by anti-immigrants or people like Durbin.

    The next president might set his/her broad immigration policies but as always devil is in details and these details are set by congress. Also if you observe our opponent organizations and the way they concentrate more on congressional elections rather than presidential elections - it becomes apparent that from EB (and other) immigration laws point of view there may not be much change in impact whether Obama or McCain is president. From their broad immigration policies I am sure either Obama or McCain will sign of any bill that favor more GC numbers (or recaptured EB visas) for EB immigrants. Of course it can get complicated with amendments from likes of Durbin but based on the merit of our issue, I think more congressmen would be voting in favor of our measures. The key is getting our measures pushed into any relevant bills.

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  • delax
    07-14 10:54 AM

    please read my message you quoted. I wrote nothing in support of or aganst the letter. Nothing they (earlier posts) say is going to make the dates go back or forward. All the poor folks are trying to do is maybe vent out their frustration. What difference does this make to you? No action is going to be taken based on one letter. You are safe, please enjoy your current date status.

    I can see the writing on the wall about where IV would be once most of Eb2 get their GC. It would almost stop existing.

    You and other EB2 people dates are current. Enjoy your GC. Best of luck.

    I am not worried about my GC safety or lack thereof. Lets talk specifics - thats always been my position. I am also fully aware that nothing is going to happen in an arbitrary and knee jerk manner based on sympathetic letter requests.

    However for argument sake lets assume something happens based on these letters. If a number is taken from EB2 to be given to EB3, I am well within my rights to express my opposition to that just like EB3 is well within their rights to vent their frustration.

    Not mentioning EB2 in the letters is not going to result in numbers being created out of thin air. These numbers have to come from somewhere IF the total pie does not increase: read EB2.

    As to your comment about IV existing or not - time will tell, but I dont try to hide the fact that beyond attending the Sept. rally, I am only an arm chair participant.


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  • BondJ
    04-08 11:45 PM
    If this bill passes along with CIR, that gives the ability to file for 485 even without visa numbers being available, I think most of the placement companies would file for LC (PERM) as soon as they recruit someone (and get H1 approved). That would allow them to file for 140 and 485. Am I missing something here?

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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:10 PM
    Dilip Kumar turns 88 (\12\28\story_28-12-2010_pg3_2) By Ishtiaq Ahmed | Daily Times

    The great thespian Dilip Kumar turned 88 on December 11, 2010. I had wanted to pay tribute to this larger-than-life megastar of Bollywood in my previous column but the tragedy in Stockholm made me postpone it till now. Thanks to YouTube I could follow some of the highlights of the birthday party from Stockholm. Among the many guests were veteran character actor Pran, 90 (started his film career in Lahore in a Punjabi film), and Dharmendra (also a Punjabi).

    His wife, once the beauty queen of Bollywood, Saira Bano, made very gracious remarks about her remarkable husband. The most touching was the warmth and feeling with which she narrated that 400 students of Khalsa College, Mumbai, where Dilip studied as a young man many, many years ago, donated 89 bottles of blood � one more than the 88 years that Dilip has completed � as a pious gesture to wish him a long life. For a very long time, Dilip sahib has been actively involved in charitable and philanthropic causes. On his first visit to Pakistan he was the guest of a blood donation organisation. Later, he has visited Pakistan to take part in Imran Khan�s campaign to raise funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. In India, he is constantly involved in rendering service to movements dealing with the blind and other physically challenged human beings. He is truly a man with a golden heart.

    As an actor there is hardly anyone who has attained so much fame and won so many laurels as Dilip sahib. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for lifelong contribution to cinema. Mian Nawaz Sharif, like the late General Ziaul Haq, is very fond of Indian films. As prime minister, Mian sahib indulged his artistic self by conferring the Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Dilip Kumar. Those were the days when Mian sahib was considered a peacenik and had developed close rapport with another Punjabi, Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (originally from Jhelum).

    I remember being in Lahore in February-March 1999 just after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mian sahib had reached the Lahore Declaration, which was to usher in peace and prosperity between India and Pakistan. At some of the social gatherings the atmosphere was extremely positive to India-Pakistan trade. One industrialist convinced me that we would benefit most because while the Indians will get a market of 150 million we would get a market of one billion. Somebody must have been listening to all this and wanted to subvert such economist argumentation. So, the Kargil mini-war broke out in May 1999.

    After the Kargil showdown, Shiv Sena�s Bal Thackeray and his goons carried out a hate campaign against Dilip sahib, alleging that like all Muslims he is at heart a Pakistani. They demanded that he must return the Nishan-e-Imtiaz because Pakistan had committed aggression against India. Dilip did not give in to such blackmail. He retorted, �This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor; I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?�

    I had the rare privilege of spending some three hours with him late evening on October 20, 2001. The famous actor of the 1970s, Raj Babbar (parents originally from Jalalpur Jattan, northern Punjab), had on my request arranged the interview. Originally it was meant to last not more than half an hour. However, once I was inside his sitting room and met him I could feel that Dilip wanted to talk to me more and more.

    To my very great surprise he wanted to conduct the conversation in his native Hindko, which to a Lahore-born like me was hundred percent Punjabi, but with a peculiar accent. We went over his long life, starting with Peshawar of course, where he was born as Mohammad Yusuf to the family of a fruit trader, Lala Ghulam Sarwar and his wife Ayesha. That trade brought his father to Maharashtra. Some years later Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar.

    He convinced me to have an omelette, saying that this way he could also join me otherwise Saira Bano was against him eating fatty stuff. I enjoyed watching him as he shared his heartfelt views about some people that I wanted him to comment on. He dispelled the rumour that he and Raj Kapoor had at any time been estranged from each other or been against each other. On the contrary, he told me that Raj Kapoor was always a steadfast friend and their Peshawar roots cemented that relationship on the family level. About the great Rafi sahib he told me that a gentler human being than him was difficult to find. He and Sunil Dutt (originally from village Khurd, Jhelum district) were next-door neighbours. Their families also met regularly and were very close to one another. He spoke very highly of Sunil Dutt, calling him a man of great courage and a very pure conscience. Equally he showered praise on Pran, calling him a man of lofty principles and integrity.

    I was tempted to probe his feelings about some of the female stars he had worked with, with some of whom rumours about amorous relationship had circulated. Then, I thought it would be trespassing into his private life and I would be abusing his hospitality. So, I did not broach that topic. I could however easily understand why so many women fell in love with this very fine specimen of Pakhtun ancestry.

    Politically he appeared to be very well informed. The Americans had just started aerial bombing of Afghanistan in retaliation for al Qaeda�s 9/11 terrorist attacks. He expressed great concern for the loss of life that such conflict entailed. Being from that region himself, he was worried that if the conflict escalated, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would suffer the most. It is amazing that at such an early stage he could foresee what was in the offing. I was quite surprised by his extensive reading of both Urdu and English literature and his interest in philosophy.

    The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.


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  • dtekkedil
    10-02 10:46 PM
    I have always been a supporter of Democrats. Because I believe in their philosophy. If I were a citizen, I probably would have even joined the Democratic party.

    However, the past two years have opened my eyes - There is one major difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are bullies and manage to get away with anything because they stand together. Where as Democrats can't even collectively make a decision on what color shoes to wear - every Democrat has a personal agenda that is more important to them than the good of the country or even the party.

    I truly believe that George W Bush did not win the first election and he did not win the second one either... the Democrats lost it!

    The Republicans may put the wealthy and big corporations ahead of us common folks but they can achieve more than the Democrats and perhaps some of that may trickle down to the rest of us. The Democrats on the other hand will be busy squabbling and nothing will get done.

    So, even if Obama wants to fix immigration or be sympathetic to our cause, there will definitely be others like Sen. Durbin who will attempt to stop him. In the end, four years down the line, we will be hoping for the next President to help our cause.

    I have been in this country for over 10 years and I am still waiting for a Green Card. I love this country and there is no other place on Earth that I want to settle down. However, there comes a point when I have to ask myself if this wait in limbo is worth it.

    Is all this really worth it? Not being able to settle down; not being able to make plans for the future. Worrying everyday if the company that I work for will have a bad quarter and have to let me go? Worrying about when I will have to pack up my things from this country and start fresh in some other place? Will I have to live with all this stress for another five or six years only to be told that my Green Card cannot be approved? Where will I go? Can I go back to India? Will I be able to cope with the culture there anymore? Can it be my HOME anymore?

    I am sure the same thoughts have gone through many of your minds.

    I have always believed that I should be more than what I am. How can I do that when I can't even be what I am. There are so many things I want to do. I am a man of science and I have ideas that could probably change the world tomorrow. But I can't even do my PhD. It is not because I am not smart enough, it is because I have started my Green card process and I cant go back to being a full time student because I need an F-1 visa... which I am not eligible for because I have started my Green card process!

    What I am trying to say is that we are paying too high a price for a Green Card, there is only one life, it is short and you don't get second chances. So, for those who have just started this Green Card process, my advice to you is; Don't let the Green Card carrot steal your life away from you. You still haven't invested many years of your lives, cut your losses and run!

    The last time I came back from India, the first and overwhelming thought I had when I stepped out of the airplane was "I'm Home!". That is when I realized that I am not an Indian anymore, I am an American; at least in my mind! But I cannot let my life pass me by while I wait for a Green Card; not anymore! I am in the process of applying for an Australian PR and will also be applying for a Canadian PR. It is not that I do not want to live in the US anymore - it is just that I cant afford to live here much longer in this situation. The emotional and physical cost is far too high. America has become my home but living here is costing me my life.

    Sorry for rambling on... but my point is that while my heart wants Obama to win (I truly believe he will make a GREAT president) my head tells me that McCain should win. Because, the chances of our issues being solved or even for the good of this country, it is better to have a Republican President and a Republican congress!

    On a side note -

    The point of getting a Green Card is so that I can settle here and raise my family here. But really, is there a future here anymore? Social Security will be non-existent by the time I retire, medical insurance is probably the biggest scam ever, and all jobs will be outsourced to other countries soon. So, will the US remain such a great country 40 years down the line?

    A country can remain great only if men with vision guide it. Over 50 years ago President Eisenhower and his colleagues had the vision to implement the Interstate system. They saw what things will be like 40 - 50 years down the line and prepared for it. Today, the politicians in Washington just think about the next election and that is where the downfall of America begins. It is not Bin Laden who can destroy America, it is leaders without vision or love for the country; Leaders who worry more about elections than making the tough but correct decisions.

    Be it Obama or McCain, this country is unfortunately in a situation where the next President will make or break America. I hope it is the former from the bottom of my heart.

    I came to this country because it meant life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But today, I realize that I have given up my life, liberty and happiness in pursuit of a Green Card.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 02:59 PM
    If the thief is hurling bombs and rockets towards police and other innocent people, then yes. Else more innocents will be killed by barbaric thief.

    Thats why Indian Govt. freed ruthless terrorists to save innocent civilians?
    Don't write crap just for the sake of argument.

    When Indian government can release ruthless terrorists in order to save Indians, Do you think people belong to Palestinian govt. elected by Palestinians will hide in schools in order to get killed by ruthless enemy?

    Don't you hear the same lie again and again year over year? If Hamas is using school kids as thier shield, then how do you think Palestenian people have elected the same people who cause their kids death rule their country?

    Don't you think?

    04-06 06:55 AM
    Land cannot be manufactured. The population is growing by the day and people need a place to live. So the space is at a premium here. The housing market maybe down because of the sub-prime crisis and the banks going out of business. But eventually it has to come back. Maybe this market is not for people who are looking to invest.

    Look at india for instance: whatever state the economy is in, the housing always booms because of the supply/demand factor. Eventually US will reach that stage unless otherwise the population shrinks.
    land cannot be manufactured but look around. US has a massive excess of land compared to its population. what you say about India is correct(to some degree but there are local bubbles out there too)..US will never have that ratio of people / land. especially you don't know what the trend is going to be with the baby boomers ..will they sell their houses and live in mexico never know (so cannot predict). price of land will go up over long long term (due to inflation) but in the short term it is DOWN DOWN and DOWN. if one can wait for a year then they should wait ..and if you do a analysis of costs ..renting is not throwing off yr money get a place to stay (a place which has mobility, less maintenance etc). Especially if you are in banking or related sectors ..just wait ..u don't know who will collapse next.
    btw for central NJ (not familiar with that area) ..the price projection in next 5 years is still down.
    here is another point from earlier post
    Because the baby-boom generation is so much bigger than succeeding generations, the ratio of people in the retirement years, 65 and older, to those in the working years, 20 to 64, will rise from 20.6% in 2005 to 35.5% in 2030, according to the Census Bureau.

    For most people, the house they live in is their biggest retirement asset. In retirement, people cash in on the value of their homes by selling and then buying less expensive houses, renting or moving in with the kids.

    05-20 06:21 PM
    Diplomatically Insulting the Chinese ( By Ted Galen Carpenter | The National Interest

    May 2011 is likely to go down as an especially important and intensive period in U.S.-China relations. Leaders of the two countries held the latest annual session of the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 9-10. And this week, eight high-ranking Chinese generals, led by Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People�s Liberation Army, will meet their Pentagon counterparts and then tour selected U.S. military installations.

    The conventional wisdom is that these events mark a dramatic improvement in a relationship that has been marked by growing tensions in recent years. That interpretation is partially correct, but there are some worrisome countercurrents that are also important. Despite the improving communication between the two sides, U.S.-China relations remain strained, and there are troublesome issues that will not be easy to ameliorate, much less resolve.

    The opening day of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue illustrated both positive and negative trends. On the positive side, the Chinese delegation for the first time included high-level officers of the PLA. Their absence from those meetings in previous years left a noticeable void in the discussions, especially on such crucial issues as nuclear weapons policy and the military uses of space. American officials also viewed the lack of a military contingent in the Chinese delegation as tangible evidence of the PLA�s continuing wariness, if not outright hostility, toward the United States. The presence of those leaders in the latest dialogue was an indication that the cold war that had developed between the PLA and the Pentagon since the collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter in 2001 was finally beginning to thaw.

    On the other hand, the opening remarks of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. officials struck a confrontational tone. They expressed sharp criticism of Beijing�s recent arrests of activists and artists following the pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. More broadly, Clinton stated that �We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights.� In an interview in The Atlantic, released during the talks, Clinton was even more caustic, accusing China�s leaders of trying �to stop history,� which she described as �a fool�s errand.�

    It was not surprising that the U.S. delegation would raise the human rights issue in the course of the dialogue. But it was not the most constructive and astute diplomacy to highlight during the opening session perhaps the most contentious topic on the agenda. A senior administration official later stated that the discussions on human rights were �very candid,� which was probably an understatement.

    The broader context of the opening session was not overly friendly either. While that session was taking place, President Obama conducted a lengthy telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The White House issued a bland statement that the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral and international concern, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but the underlying message to the Chinese was anything but subtle. The timing especially sent a signal to PRC leaders that in addition to Washington�s strategic links with its traditional allies in China�s neighborhood (especially Japan), the United States had key options available regarding the other rising regional giant�and Chinese strategic competitor�India. As in the case of the lectures on human rights, highlighting U.S.-India ties at that moment did not help ease bilateral tensions with Beijing.

    Even when U.S. officials ostensibly sought to be conciliatory, the attempt often came across as self-serving and borderline condescending. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, for example, praised some �very promising changes� in Beijing�s economic policy that had taken place during the previous year, especially on the currency valuation issue. But there were few offers of economic carrots from the U.S. side. The emphasis was always on the concessions Washington expected from Beijing.

    The closed-door meetings appeared to be more constructive than the public session, as the participants reached agreement on a number of measures, both minor and significant. In the former category was the announcement of Beijing�s decision to offer twenty thousand scholarships to American students for study in China. In the latter category was a two-pronged agreement, which included both a commitment to conduct regular talks (dubbed �Strategic Security Dialogues�) regarding security problems in East Asia and a �framework for economic cooperation� to address the full range of occasionally contentious bilateral economic and financial issues. In addition, Beijing made commitments to increase the transparency of China�s economy, especially the government�s use of export credits.

    Progress on security and economic topics was gratifying and holds considerable potential. But whether the outcome deserves the label �milestone agreement,� as officials contended, remains to be seen. The significance of the accord depends heavily on the subsequent execution, especially on the Chinese side. Nevertheless, the dialogue clearly ended on a high note, and one that was better than anticipated following the U.S. delegation�s brusque comments at the opening session.

    Expectations regarding the visit of General Chen and his PLA colleagues are also upbeat. The visit itself is a significant breakthrough. Military-to-military relations have been tense and episodic for years. The most recent disruption occurred in early 2010 when Beijing angrily severed those ties following the Obama administration�s announcement of a multi-billion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan.

    Despite the cordial rhetoric accompanying this trip (and the full military honors accorded Chen during a ceremony at Fort Myer), the visit has far more symbolic than substantive importance. The U.S. and Chinese militaries are not about to become best friends. The best that can realistically be expected would be measures to improve communications between forces deployed in the air and on the sea in the Western Pacific region to reduce the danger of accidents or miscalculations. Any breakthrough on larger strategic disagreements will have to be reached between officials at higher pay grades than even General Chen and his American counterparts.

    The change in tone in the U.S.-China relationship is welcome, since better cooperation on both economic and strategic issues is important. Trends on both fronts over the past several years have been worrisome. A failure to cooperate on economic matters not only jeopardizes both the U.S. and Chinese economies, it also poses a threat to the global economic recovery. Animosity on security topics creates dangerous tensions in East Asia and undermines progress on such issues as preventing nuclear proliferation.

    Nevertheless, while China and the United States have significant interests in common, they also have some clashing concerns in both the economic and strategic arenas. There are bound to be tensions between the United States, the incumbent global economic leader and strategic hegemon, and China, the rapidly rising economic and military power. The critical task for leaders in both countries is to manage those tensions and to keep them under control.

    The political and diplomatic dance between such great powers is inevitably a wary, delicate one. But the alternative would be the kind of outright hostility that marked the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and that would be to no one�s benefit.

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