WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top U.S. and Chinese officials are launching an expanded discussion of the crucial relationship between their two countries Monday, holding the first meeting of a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" in Washington.
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will address the opening session of the two-day meeting.
In an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner said the purpose of the dialogue is to "develop a new framework for U.S.-China relations."
"Few global problems can be solved by the U.S. or China alone. And few can be solved without the U.S. and China together," they said. Those problems include the global economy, the health of the global environment, the stability of fragile states and the solution to nonproliferation challenges.
On the economy, Clinton and Geithner praised the United States and China for taking "bold steps" to deal with the global economic crisis. Now, they said, Americans must rebuild their savings, strengthen the U.S. financial system and invest in energy, education and health care. China, they argued, must continue financial sector reform and development as well as spur domestic demand and make the Chinese economy less reliant on exports.
"Raising personal incomes and strengthening the social safety net to address the reasons why Chinese feel compelled to save so much would provide a powerful boost to Chinese domestic demand and global growth," they said.
On climate change, the United States and China "need to establish a true partnership to put both countries on a low-carbon pathway, simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic recovery and sustainable development."
On security issues, Clinton and Geithner highlighted the "provocative actions of North Korea," stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and economic possibilities in Africa.
Obama administration officials say a key purpose of the new dialogue is to expand a relationship which they argue became exclusively focused on economic issues during the Bush administration.