Clinton meets Chinese foreign minister, days after naval spat
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks on Wednesday, just days after the United States accused China of harassing one of its naval vessels in the South China Sea, dpa reported.
The meeting also comes less than a month after Clinton's trip to Asia - her first overseas visit as the US chief diplomat - which was viewed as a sign of the increased attention President Barack Obama is paying to the continent.
Clinton, in brief comments ahead of a private meeting, said it was "very positive" that Yang agreed to travel to Washington so soon after her visit to the region.
Yang said the two ministers would be laying the groundwork for a Group of 20 (G20) summit in London next month to stem the global economic slide.
The recent naval confrontation was also on the agenda. The US Defence Department said five Chinese ships on Sunday manoeuvred dangerously close to a US naval vessel sailing in international waters, one of several aggressive acts recently by the Chinese Navy.
The relationship between the United States and China - the world's largest and third-largest economies respectively - is regarded as key to stabilizing the global economy, which the World Bank predicts will contract this year for the first time since World War II.
Yang was also set to meet with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who will join other G20 finance ministers later this week in London to prepare for the April leaders' summit.