The United States and China will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday, the latest sign of a thaw in relations, as China's vice president said Beijing was willing to talk with Washington to resolve their bitter trade dispute.
The resumption of high-level dialogue, marked by a phone call last week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, comes ahead of an expected meeting between the two at the G20 summit in Argentina starting in late November.
It follows months of recriminations spanning trade, U.S. accusations of Chinese political interference, the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan. China and the United States have both described last week's telephone call between Xi and Trump as positive. Trump predicted he'd be able to make a deal with China on trade.
In a concrete sign of the unfreezing, the U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe will take part in diplomatic and security talks later this week in Washington.
China said last month the two sides had initially agreed "in principle" to hold the second round of diplomatic security talks in October but they were postponed at Washington's request amid rising tensions over trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Mattis had been due to hold talks with Wei in Beijing in October, but those plans were upended after Washington imposed sanctions on China's People's Liberation Army for buying weapons from Russia.