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Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press
Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi during the Strategic Track Ocean meeting during the US China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the State Department in Washington.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and China are stepping up cooperation on preserving the ocean and combating illegal fishing despite their differences on maritime security.

Secretary of State John Kerry says that indicates the two nations are "working hard to address differences and to find the areas of commonality."

The two governments discussed ocean policy on the final day Wednesday of high-level talks on security and the economy.

Despite growing tensions over cybertheft and China's island-building in the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. and China are stressing how they can work together on less contentious issues, such as climate change.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi said they have "broad common interests in global maritime governance." Kerry said they would expand cooperation among coast guard and law enforcement authorities to uphold international standards.