U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday agreed with China's top diplomat Wang Yi that senior officials should follow up the pair's discussions on North Korea and the Middle East, the State Department said.

While having a "candid and constructive discussion" with Wang in Munich, Blinken also raised concern over China supporting Russia's aggression against Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as well as in the South China Sea, according to the department's top spokesman, Matthew Miller.

The first meeting since October between the top U.S. and Chinese diplomats took place on the sidelines of a security conference in the German city, with the two countries having agreed to promote frequent high-level communications.

Combined photo shows China's top diplomat Wang Yi (L, Getty/Kyodo) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Kyodo) 

Wang told Blinken that both sides should "adhere to the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, and actively explore the right way for the two major powers to get along," according to China's Foreign Ministry.

It quoted Wang, the most senior foreign policy official in China's Communist Party, as saying the United States should view the country's development "objectively" and abide by the one-China principle if it "truly hopes for stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Miller indicated Blinken's talks with Wang centered on regional issues, but did not elaborate, for instance, on what their high-ranking officials will discuss with regard to North Korea or the unfolding situation in the Middle East.

With the war in Ukraine about to enter its third year, Blinken voiced concern over China's backing of Russia's defense industrial base, according to the spokesman. But he gave little information on other topics the top diplomats took up.

Blinken reiterated that the United States will continue to stand up for its interests and values and those of its allies, Miller said.

Despite long-running tensions over issues such as Taiwan's future, human rights and trade restrictions, the United States and China have sought to responsibly manage differences and cooperate where they can.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, and Wang held more than 12 hours of discussions over two days last month in Thailand, with issues on the table including military-to-military communication, the safety of artificial intelligence and attacks on shipping in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed Houthis.

It was the first in-person meeting of senior officials of the two countries since Taiwan's presidential election in mid-January, won by Lai Ching-te of the ruling, independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party.

Following their talks in Bangkok, a senior U.S. administration official said President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to hold talks over the phone this spring.

Blinken's meeting with Wang on the margins of the Munich Security Conference was also intended to follow up on the summit of the U.S. and Chinese presidents near San Francisco in November.

Biden and Xi agreed at the time to reopen military-to-military lines of communication at several levels and work together on transnational challenges such as counternarcotics to help foster confidence between the geopolitical rivals.

Since then, despite disagreements over various political and economic issues, the United States and China have gradually taken steps to restart cooperation where possible.

In late January, they launched a working group to help choke off exports of ingredients for fentanyl, which is fueling a deadly drug crisis in the United States.

The two countries also plan to begin a dialogue this spring on the safe use of artificial intelligence.

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