BEIJING - The United States and China must work to ensure that talks between their leaders at a G20 summit this month go well and they manage differences, a top Chinese diplomat said, as the two countries try tentatively to get ties back on track.
China and the United States have put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods and U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to set tariffs on the remainder of China's $500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the trade dispute cannot be resolved.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit, which is being held in Argentina at the end of November and early December, for high-stakes talks.
The two sides should "properly manage differences and carefully prepare to ensure positive results in the Argentine meeting", politburo member Yang Jiechi told U.S. national security adviser John Bolton in Washington, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"China is committed to working with the U.S. to achieve a no-confrontational, conflictless, mutually respectful co-operation in which both sides win," added Yang, who heads the ruling Communist Party's foreign affairs commission.
"Both sides should seek an appropriate solution through equal and mutually beneficial negotiations," said Yang, adding that the essence of China, U.S. trade and economic ties is mutually beneficial.
Relations between the two countries have warmed since Xi and Trump spoke by telephone last week, setting the ground for their G20 meeting.
Yang, joined by Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe, are holding a security and diplomatic dialogue with the United States in Washington on Friday.
Yang outranks the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi.
In a separate meeting on Thursday in Beijing with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Wang said the two countries absolutely could resolve their trade dispute.
"As for the present China-U.S. economic and trade dispute, we believe it ought to be and can be appropriately resolve via equal dialogue," Wang said, according to China's Foreign Ministry.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Engen Tham and Wang Jing in Shanghai; Editing by Sam Holmes, Robert Birsel)