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Secretary of State Clinton Calls for Comprehensive US-China Dialogue

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for a "comprehensive dialogue" with China, extending beyond economic issues.

Secretary Clinton Tuesday said U.S. economic problems mean that people are losing jobs not only in America but also in China. So Clinton said that while the economy will always be a centerpiece of the U.S. relationship with China, the new U.S. administration wants it to be part of a broader agenda.

She said the Bush administration turned the strategic dialogue with China into an economic one.

Clinton did not mention what other issues she would bring up with the government in Beijing.

Human rights activists have called for renewed U.S. pressure on China to improve its human rights record and freedom of expression.

The French news agency said groups such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, and veteran Chinese dissident Harry Wu expressed hope at a U.S. congressional hearing Tuesday that President Barack Obama will give China's human rights problem a high priority.

The Associated Press quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates as telling a Senate hearing Tuesday that the United States is ready to handle any foreseeable military threat from China.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.