U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday stressed the significance of U.S.-China relations, urging the two countries to continue to maintain lines of communication.
Obama made the remarks at a White House meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
At the meeting, Wang expressed China's support for the United States in hosting the fourth nuclear security summit in Washington on March 31 and April 1.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Obama are expected to hold their first meeting this year on the sidelines of the summit. Xi made a state visit to the United States last September.
Wang lauded the new progress that has been made in bilateral ties under the guidance of Xi and Obama.
He added that China is willing to maintain high-level strategic communication with the United States, enhance cooperation in international and regional issues, and work together to counter global challenges.
For his part, Obama spoke highly of both countries' efforts to tackle climate change, among other issues.
He also said that he looked forward to Xi's attendance at the nuclear security summit.
Wang, who arrived Tuesday in the United States for a visit, also held a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Wednesday.
Wang said developing a strong China-U.S. relationship is in the interests of both sides and is in accordance with the aspirations of the international community.
It is imperative that the two sides boost strategic mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and constructively manage differences to achieve greater progress in bilateral ties, Wang said.
Rice said it is more important and pressing than ever to strengthen U.S.-China cooperation on important issues and properly manage their differences.
Rice said Washington is willing to work with China to enhance communication at different levels.
After exchanging views on the South China Sea issue, they agreed that all concerned parties have to work to maintain peace and stability in the region, and that the disputes should be settled through dialogue.
On Tuesday, the top Chinese diplomat held talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss a wide range of issues, including the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.