WASHINGTON, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government hailed Friday the annual high-level China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogue as an effective and important mechanism to address a wide range of important issues.
"We believe it's a very effective mechanism. And anytime you can get senior members of the Chinese government and the U.S. government to sit down and talk about the issues that bind us, it's effective and it's important," Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, told a news briefing.
He was responding to a question on the upcoming eighth China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the seventh High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), which are to be held Monday in Beijing.
The dialogue provides an opportunity for the two countries to sit down to discuss important issues in the security and economic realms, including the hot issues such as climate change, trade and human rights that they jointly focus on, Toner said.
"We believe that our dialogue with China is strong enough and expansive enough that we can talk about areas where we disagree, but we can also talk about areas and many -- there are many -- on which we can cooperate," the spokesman said.
Toner said that the U.S.-China relationship is incredibly significant and strategically important to both countries and to the region.
This year's meetings will also discuss the South China Sea disputes, one of the most contentious issues that have recently strained the bilateral relations, Toner added.
He praised the annual dialogue mechanism as "very effective," citing a lot of important achievements gained through China-U.S. cooperation in the past eight years, including their successful cooperation on reaching a climate change agreement and the Iranian nuclear deal.
The eighth S&ED and the seventh CPE are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Beijing.
The S&ED will be led by Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi on the Chinese side and Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on the U.S. side. The CPE will be co-chaired by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Kerry.