The two sides said on Monday that members of a high-level US delegation discussed with their counterparts in China the “sensitive” Taiwan issue as well as ways to improve bilateral ties.
The meeting was also aimed at preparing for the visit of US chief of diplomacy Antony Blinken to the Asian country, scheduled in early 2023.
This is the first official visit since President Xi Jinping and Joe Biden committed to improving bilateral ties in November ahead of the G20 summit in Bali.
The delegation included Daniel Krittenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, and Laura Rosenberger, White House National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan.
According to Chinese diplomacy, talks between US officials and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xi Feng took place on Sunday and Monday in northern Hebei province.
“The two sides held in-depth talks on the implementation of the consensus reached between the two presidents during the Bali summit,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters.
Wang indicated that the two sides addressed the issue of Taiwan, the autonomous and democratic island regarded by Beijing as its own, the subject of recent tensions between the two powers.
The United States assured that they had also discussed the war in Ukraine and North Korea, with Washington expecting pressure from Beijing after several missile fires this year.
US diplomatic spokesman Ned Price told reporters, “The conversations were frank. They were solid.”
“They also explored possible avenues for cooperation where our interests converge (…) such as on climate change, health security, global macroeconomic stability and global food security,” he added.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have cooled in recent years over disagreements over the trade imbalance, the Uyghur question or rivalry in the high-tech sector.