US and Chinese leaders have been clashing, for months, over the situation in Taiwan. They have seen tensions rise after lawmakers from Washington met with counterparts in Taipei. Now, top diplomats from both sides have sat down to "maintain open lines of communication."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Their leaders have yet to talk in person. They had been floating the idea of a summit between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the G20 meeting in Indonesia in November.
However, the visits to Taiwan last month by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others, have triggered protests from Beijing. Officials warned the US against violating the "One-China" principle.
Chinese forces have since conducted military drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan, prompting criticism from the US.
Earlier this week, Biden said US forces would defend Taiwan in the face of an "unprecedented attack." At the same time, White House officials have insisted that the US stands behind the "One-China" policy.
Blinken drove home that point in his meeting with Wang but told him that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is "absolutely, vitally important."