The U.S. and China squared off over Beijing’s human-rights record during Monday’s launch of wide-ranging talks among officials overseeing the two countries’ trade, foreign policy and defense policies.

The talks, the third round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the Obama administration and Beijing, mark the first time that senior members of the Chinese military are participating with their American counterparts.

U.S. officials have created the catch phrase “strategic trust” to describe the Obama administration’s focus on strengthening military ties with Beijing. U.S. officials said the two sides also discussed ways to coordinate in stabilizing Pakistan and Afghanistan, including pursuing development projects.

U.S. officials urged China to allow its currency to appreciate more quickly. The Chinese yuan has been rising at a pace of about 0.5% a month, though high inflation within China is pushing up the effective exchange rate against the dollar. Even without U.S. pressure, Chinese officials may be more inclined to let the yuan climb more quickly to limit domestic inflation and reduce the cost of imports.

Vice Premier Wang said the U.S. must set a “clear timetable and road map” for meeting China’s economic requests. These include the U.S. relaxing controls on the export of high-tech products, granting recognition of China as a market economy to give the country more power under international trade rules, giving fair access to Chinese companies investing in the U.S. and refraining from “politicizing economic and trade issues.”

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