US, China Search for Common Ground at Trade Talks བོད་སྐད།

China and the United States have opened trade talks to try to reach agreement on a range of issues from climate change to trade disputes.

Officials from two sides met Thursday in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said it is critical that they make concrete, demonstrable progress during the meetings.

Locke also said it is important that the two countries show their people that the United States and China can work together.

The annual meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade comes just weeks before President Barack Obama makes his first visit to China.

Commerce Secretary Locke said disagreements between Washington and Beijing were "bound to arise," but called them a sign of the relationship's maturity.

At Thursday's talks, China said it will lift a ban on U.S. pork imports that it imposed earlier this year due to fears of the A-H1N1 influenza, or swine flu.

Washington recently imposed tariffs on imports of Chinese tires, while Beijing launched an investigation into the pricing of U.S. imports of poultry and auto parts.

The two sides were expected to sign an agreement Thursday to establish a U.S. - China Energy Cooperation Program.

U.S. officials are expected to press China on the issue of protecting intellectual property rights. They also pledged to lobby for the opening of Chinese markets to U.S. medical devices and pharmaceutical products.