U.S., China Tout Mutual Goals in Talks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, third from right, and Treasury Secretary Treasury Timothy Geithner, second from right, host the first joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, Monday, July 27, 2009. From right are: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Geithner, Clinton, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, State Councilor Dai Bingguo; Finance Minister Xie Xuren and Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has opened talks with high-level Chinese officials, hailing an opportunity for better relations and saying the two countries share common interests and mutual threats.

Kicking off a new dialogue with Beijing, Clinton said that the two "are laying brick by brick the foundation of a stronger relationship."

She said it was time to move from "a multipolar world to a multipartner world."

The talks will include discussions of the global economic slide, climate change and commercial relationships. Clinton said the two "will not always see eye to eye." Both sides are emphasizing the importance of the meetings.

President Obama meanwhile said that the relationship between the United States and China will shape the history of the 21st century.

"I believe that we are poised to make steady progress on some of the most important issues of our times," Mr. Obama said.

Top officials said they saw hopeful signs that the global economy was beginning to move into a period of recovery.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the joint efforts of the nations to deal with the financial crisis with large stimulus programs marked a turning point in the relationship of the two economic superpowers.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said that "at present the world economy is at a critical moment of moving out of crisis and toward recovery."