US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held “candid” talks with his Chinese counterpart at the start of 2 days of meetings with officials in China.
The US state department said Mr Blinken emphasised the need for diplomacy and keeping “open channels of communication.
His trip is the first by a top US diplomat to China in almost 5 years.
A planned Blinken visit in February was called off after a suspected Chinese spy balloon flew in US airspace.
US officials say the main goal of the Beijing talks is to stabilise a relationship that has become extremely tense.