The administration of US President Joe Biden has stressed it will maintain communication with China after an expected reshuffle in the Chinese leadership.
China's National People's Congress is scheduled to convene on Sunday. Observers say many members of the Chinese leadership, including the premier, are likely to be replaced at the gathering following the launch of President Xi Jinping's unprecedented third term as Communist Party leader last year.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a news conference on Wednesday that Biden will always do what is required to defend the American people's interests, and he believes it is important to "keep the lines of communication open."
She added that the US government is prepared to have high-level engagement with China from the President on down after the expected shakeup.
Earlier this year, the US House of Representatives set up a committee on competition with China. The first hearing on Tuesday made clear that the committee will tackle the military and security threats posed by China.
China's foreign ministry objected, calling on the US side to abandon its "ideological bias and zero-sum Cold War mentality."
Observers say the remarks by the White House press secretary indicate that the Biden administration views China as a competitor, but wants to avoid conflict with Beijing.