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China, U.S. kick off annual high-level talks on ties
2015-06-27 00:27

China and the United States opened their annual high-level talks here Tuesday to deepen cooperation in strategic and economic issues and further promote people-to-people exchanges.

The seventh China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the sixth China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) will conclude Wednesday.

This year's S&ED is co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, special representatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, on behalf of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The CPE is co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, a special representative of Xi, and Kerry.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden stressed the importance of U.S.-China cooperation in dealing with varied issues facing today's world, saying his country, instead of fearing China's rise, wants to see the Asian giant's rise as it could be a significant asset for the region and the whole world.

With an eye to the differences between the two sides, Biden said the United States welcomes "healthy and fair competition" from China and believes that whenever possible, China should be included at the table of writing the rules.

This year's S&ED will cover a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of common concern, including climate change, interaction in the Asia-Pacific region, managing differences and sensitive situations, the United Nations and multilateral affairs, science and innovation, green ports and ships, as well as fighting illegal trade in wildlife.

During the economic dialogue, officials will have in-depth discussions on macro-economic policy and restructuring, trade and investment promotion, and financial market stabilization and reform, including the exchange of "negative lists" on a mutual investment treaty, which outline sectors that are closed to foreign investment.

The CPE talks will focus on cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, women and youth. Before heading to Washington Monday, Liu had already visited Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Houston, Texas for a series of meetings and interactions with U.S. officials, athletes, college officials and Chinese students in the United States.

This year's S&ED and CPE, which come at a time when there are a few hiccups in bilateral relations, are also expected to pave the way for Xi's successful state visit to the United States in September.

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