U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is in Beijing where she met Monday with China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, at the start of a three-day trip to clear the way for a visit by President Barack Obama in November.
Rice said that among all the issues facing the United States, Obama considers China to be a priority and that the primary reason for her visit is to hammer out the agenda for a meeting between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
"As you know, the U.S.-China relationship is very important to the United States, and having this kind of high level and continuing dialogue is helpful to enable us to sustain and to deepen the type of productive relationship and good work that's necessary for the U.S. interest, for China's interests, and the interests of the global community," said Rice.
Rice is scheduled to meet Tuesday with China's defense and foreign ministers before returning home Wednesday.
China will host the APEC summit on November 10 and 11 in Beijing. The government leaders of 21 member countries will attend. Beijing has also invited the leaders of India and Mongolia.