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US, China Discuss Cyber Security, Climate Change

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, left, Secretary of State John Kerry, second from left, and others, participate in the Joint Session on Climate Change with Chinese delegation headed by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, July 10, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says China and the United States will continue throughout this century to set the example as the two largest economies with the most global reach.

Speaking at the State Department, Kerry said annual high-level talks between the United States and China allows the two countries to speak candidly about their differences to constructively manage them and increase understanding.

He said this year's discussions have created working groups to investigate issues including cyber security and climate change.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang added Sino-U.S. cooperation goes "beyond bilateral relations" to have a global impact.

Wang said the two countries need to increase their trust through dialogue, but added China will never accept views that will hinder its development.

The talks, now in their fifth year, also include U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

Chinese state media reported Wednesday the first-ever working group on U.S.-China cyber security went well, with both sides "candidly" discussing the matter and agreeing to expand cooperation.

U.S. officials say they raised the issue of economic-related hacking during the session. They also said the two sides discussed international norms for cyber space.

Washington and Beijing have recently traded accusations of cyber-hacking attacks. The issue has threatened to become a major irritant in bilateral relations.

Before the talks, rights groups and lawmakers called for the United States to prominently raise concerns about China's human-rights record, a particularly sensitive topic for Beijing.

A bipartisan group of top U.S. lawmakers also called for the United States to press China on a wide range of economic issues, including protecting intellectual property and ensuring China opens its markets to more foreign competition.