Stephen A. Schlaikjer is an independent consultant on Asian affairs, having recently retired from US Government service after a thirty-year career in the US State Department. His career has focused on US-China relations; China?s economic reforms and political development; and international economic, trade, and national security policy. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Schlaikjer served as senior adviser for economics and foreign policy to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a body established by the US Congress to monitor and assess the implications of the US-China economic relationship for US national security. He joined the Commission staff in October 2002. Mr. Schlaikjer?s early Foreign Service career included postings to numerous places in Asia and China, including serving as economic officer and designated deputy to the Consul General in Guangzhou, minister-counselor for Economic Affairs in Beijing, counselor for International Economic Affairs at the US Mission in Geneva, and deputy consul general at the US Consulate General in Hong Kong during the historic transition from British to Chinese administration. In 1998, he returned to the United States and served for two years as director of the State Department Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs.