US to host China for high-level talks on outstanding disputes

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) is scheduled to receive China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi (right), a top foreign policy official, on June 23 and 24. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) is scheduled to receive China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi (right), a top foreign policy official, on June 23 and 24. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States kicks off a "strategic and economic" dialogue with China next week, a way of addressing the numerous outstanding disputes between the two powers.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew are scheduled to receive State Councilor Yang Jiechi, a top foreign policy official, and Vice-Premier Wang Yang on June 23 and 24, the State Department said on Monday.

The meeting will be the seventh session of the "US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue," and features the same four officials that met last year in Beijing.

The two nations are friendly on many fronts, but also have clashed on the international scene, most recently during the South China Sea dispute.

The State Department said only that the session will address "challenges and opportunities that both countries face" in areas "of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest."

Beijing has shown it has serious ambitions in the South China Sea where China is squaring off against US-supported countries for the hydrocarbon rich area.

Tensions have also flared over numerous cyberattacks against US government agencies with Chinese suspects. In May 2014, five Chinese military members were indicted in the US for "hacking," causing diplomatic tensions.

The US also considers China's yuan currency undervalued and it has a large trade deficit with Beijing.

The two countries that are often rivals recently reached cooperative agreements on climate change and another over negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.