Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi arrives at the U.S. State Department for meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The talks are intended to lay the groundwork for a meeting between the Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in London next month.
Instead the foreign minister's visit has been complicated by a naval confrontation between the US and China. The US accuses China of harassing an American ship in international waters. China counters that the US broke Chinese laws.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
SOUNDBITE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English):
"We have each stated our positions. But, the important point of agreement coming out of my discussions with Minister Yang is that we must work hard in the future to avoid such incidents and to avoid this particular incident having consequences that are unforeseen."
The Chinese Minister is now scheduled to head to the White House for meetings on Thursday with President Barack Obama.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
SOUNDBITE: White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, saying (English):
"The incident involving the boats of the two countries will be on the list for discussion. I don't think it will overshadow it, but I think the president will continue to make clear our country's position,"
The two leaders are also expected to discuss the sensitive issue of the value of the Chinese yuan currency against the dollar.
Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters