China's top diplomat has begun a two-day visit to the USA amid rising tensions between the two countries under the new presidency of Donald Trump over the "one-China" policy, the South China Sea situation and the increasing unease in the Korean Peninsula.
Yang noted that President Xi not long ago held an important phone conversation with President Trump, which offered clear guidance on the direction of the development of the China-U.S. relations in the next stage.
Quoting Foreign Ministry, state news agency Xinhua said President Xi Jinping's top foreign policy adviser and State Councilor Yang Jiechi is scheduled to meet high-ranking USA officials today and tomorrow to exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest.
He will also discuss the arrangements for a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies told official Xinhua news agency.
Yang will also seek to connect with Trump's diplomatic team and meet key figures such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, he added.
"In line with the spirit of the phone conversation, and following the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, China is willing to ramp up exchanges with the USA at high and various levels, expand cooperation and coordination in wide-ranging bilateral areas and on major regional and global issues and respect each other's core interests and major concerns", Yang said.
However, Trump, who initially challenged Beijing's claim over Taiwan, telephoned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, assuring that the USA would adhere to the 'One China policy'.
Apart from bilateral ties, finalizing dates for a meeting between Xi and Trump will also be a part of the agenda when Yang meets with US officials, Jia told Xinhua. Trump caused even more controversy when he said he would not necessarily uphold the US's "One China" policy, which has to do with recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.
Earlier in February, Tillerson had met with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a G20 foreign ministers meeting in Germany.
On the presidential campaign trail previous year, Mr Trump regularly attacked China for stealing American jobs and running a massive, unfairly won trade surplus with the USA which he would reverse by whatever means necessary.
CASS's Tao said he was "optimistic" the relationship would soon be back on track.