STATE DEPARTMENT —
The U.S. and China are launching four rounds of talks, as U.S. President Donald Trump heads to China later this year in a visit aimed at strengthening cooperation to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
In a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, Trump said he's "looking forward to the state visit to China," according to a readout published by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Coordinating efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and addressing the threat posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear programs are expected to be high on the agenda in Trump's first visit to China.
"President Trump [during his call with Xi] criticized North Korea's continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang's actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula," the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders met in Mar-a-Largo earlier this month.
In a departure from the previous administration, four rounds of talks are being initiated to focus on U.S.-China relations under the Trump administration.
The first round of the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, led by the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon, will be held in Washington in the coming months.
"We would like to start the preparation soon of the first round of Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, Cyber and Law Enforcement Dialogue, as well as Social and People-to-people Exchange Dialogue," Xi told Trump in the phone call, according to the Chinese government statement.
For years, the main channel to manage U.S.-China relations was the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue, an annual high-level gathering for the two countries to discuss a wide range of regional and global issues.
The dialogue started under the George W. Bush administration as the Strategic Economic Dialogue and was later upgraded by former President Barack Obama after he took office.
A possible time for Trump's visit to China is in November, when he will attend the U.S.-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and the East Asia summit in the Philippines, along with the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vietnam.