The United States is working to expand areas of practical cooperation with China while seeking to resolve or manage their differences, a senior U.S. official said Thursday prior to a major round of Sino-U.S. high-level talks.
Hosting a media briefing on the forthcoming seventh round of the Sino-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the sixth round of High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), Daniel Russell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that the United States has worked year after year "to help make space for China's growth."
The special representatives for President Xi Jinping, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi will co-host the S&ED with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who represent President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Kerry will co-chair the CPE with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong.
"We don't always see eye to eye. But the fact is that global challenges require that we cooperate. They require collaborative solutions," Russell said, noting that the two countries have a "very complex, very consequential relationship."
"We've welcomed China's emergence on the world stage and participation in the global system," he added.
Russell elaborated on the "four attributes of the S&ED" that help make the dialogues effective. Firstly, it is a very high-level dialogue and is the "flagship in the dialogue mechanisms" that the two sides have developed.
Such high-level meetings help get the message through and things done. Last year's S&ED prompted President Obama to visit China in November, while this year's talks will help pave the way for Xi's first scheduled state visit to the United States, Russell said.
Secondly, the S&ED is a broad-based dialogue, with at least nine different U.S. government agencies attending the dialogue in the strategic track alone and eight cabinet-level U.S. officials engaging in both tracks.
Thirdly, the dialogue "gives us the opportunity to work across the span of the Chinese interagency," which is essential to "ensuring that everybody in their system is similarly on the same page."
Fourthly, it is the continuity of the talks through the S&ED that allows the two countries to build on previous progress and dig deeper on important issues, such as leading the international community into the Paris Climate Change Conference, which is to be held in November.