Diplomatic representatives from the US and China are paving the way for a high-profile visit of China’s recently appointed foreign minister, Wang Yi, to the US as diplomatic tensions between the world’s two largest economies ease. 

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink met with China’s lead diplomat for North America relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General of the North American & Oceanian Affairs Department Yang Tao, on Monday in Washington. 

The two were joined by US National Security Council Senior Director for China & Taiwan Affairs Sarah Beran.  

Productive discussions

“The two sides held a candid, substantive, and productive discussion as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the bilateral relationship,” the US Department of State said in a note on Monday.  

“The two sides also exchanged views on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including Russia’s war against Ukraine and cross-Strait issues.”

This follows US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing in June as well as a meeting in Jakarta with Wang at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in July.

Lines of communication

Tensions between the two countries have remained tight due to differences over trade, Taiwan, technology and the two countries’ influence in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Although tensions have been rising, both the US and China have made a drive to keep open lines of communication between each other since the end of last year.

Wang was reinstated as China’s foreign minister at the end of last month after serving in the role from 2013 to 2022.  

This followed the absence of Wang’s predecessor, Qin Gang, who had held the position for around seven months.