WASHINGTON, D.C.: Top US and Chinese officials were set to join “candid” talks on Tuesday on the “complicated but consequential” ties between the world’s two leading economies, with maritime disputes and cyber hacking high on the agenda.
About 400 Chinese officials have converged on Washington for the high-level annual talks being hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
“The United States is firmly committed to improving its relationship with China,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby, about the seventh round of dialogues.
“While our countries disagree on many points, we recognize that there are many areas for mutually beneficial cooperation,” he told reporters, saying there was “no problem [that]can’t be better addressed with US-China cooperative efforts.”
The two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue kicks off properly on Tuesday with Kerry and China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi.
Boycott Chinese products
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also on Tuesday denied having a hand on initiatives to call for a boycott of China-made products.
In a statement, the DFA said such initiative by some sectors in the country and around the world is merely “exercising their right to free expression.”
“Both the Philippines and China have taken the position that the South China Sea dispute should not be the sum total of their relations,” the statement added.