As U.S. Secretary John Kerry heads for Beijing for the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Washington said Monday the two countries will address a handful of pressing bilateral and global issues.
"Our two countries will exchange views and forge progress on global, regional and bilateral challenges, including pressing issues related to Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iran, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maritime disputes."
State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki called the two-day meeting an important component of U.S. efforts to bolster relations with China, but more contentious topics will likely outweigh talks on cooperation.
One of the most important issues for Washington could be China's alleged cybertheft of U.S. corporate secrets.
In May, the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into U.S. companies to steal their trade secrets.
The two also remain far apart on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, with Beijing calling for a swift resumption of dialogue while Washington seeks more pressure by China on the North.
Japan's resurgent nationalism and China's push to expand its maritime control are other potential issues for dispute.
While any breakthroughs are unlikely this week, experts say the efforts by the U.S. and China to continue discussions should be taken positively by neighboring countries like South Korea.
But at the same time, they say Seoul must stay alert on whether the two global powers will use the issue of North Korea's nuclear program as a negotiating card at their bilateral talks.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.