China has begun laying down the groundwork for next week’s Sino-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Washington. Vice-Premier Wang Qishan will discuss with his US counterparts how to unwind the two countries’ stimulus packages while also managing inflation. That should occur over the soup course. Also on Beijing’s agenda: urging the US to stabilize the dollar, thus protecting the value of China’s dollar assets. While government types are gallivanting through Washington, one of China’s most prominent state-owned firms will be trolling for investments down under. Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco), having had its US$19.5 billion investment in Rio Tinto scrapped, is coming back for another helping. The firm’s Chairman Xiong Weiping said that it is already discussing fresh investments in Western Australia. Xiong made the comments one day after meeting with Colin Barnett, who heads the state government of Western Australia. Sino-Aussie relations have been strained in the past months over the failed Chinalco-Rio deal and the detention of Rio Tinto’s man in Shanghai, Stern Hu, amidst a standoff between Chinese iron ore buyers and Australian miners. One beneficiary has been Brazil, which saw its spot iron ore vessel bookings to China rise to a record 31 in July. Bookings from Oz were down to 12 from an average of 40 in the last quarter.