By David Brunnstrom and John Geddie
WASHINGTON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The United States and China will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday, the latest sign of a thaw in relations, as China's vice president said Beijing was willing to talk with Washington to resolve their bitter trade dispute.
The resumption of high-level dialogue, marked by a phone call last week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, comes ahead of an expected meeting between the two at the G20 summit in Argentina starting in late November.
In a concrete sign of the unfreezing, the U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe will take part in diplomatic and security talks later this week in Washington.
China said last month the two sides had initially agreed "in principle" to hold the second round of diplomatic security talks in October but they were postponed at Washington's request amid rising tensions over trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Mattis did meet Wei in Singapore on Oct. 18 and told him that the world's two largest economies needed to deepen high-level ties to reduce the risk of conflict.
Speaking in Singapore on Tuesday, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who is close to Xi, reiterated China's readiness to hold discussions and work with the United States to resolve trade disputes as the world's two largest economies stand to lose from confrontation.
"Both China and the U.S. would love to see greater trade and economic cooperation," Wang told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
"The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the U.S. on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides," he said.
"The world today faces many major problems that require close co-operation between China and the United States," Wang said.
Trump has railed against China over intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. business and a gaping trade deficit, which U.S. data showed reached a record $40.2 billion in September.
The trade war, which has seen both sides impose tariffs on billions of dollars worth of the other's imports, is beginning to hurt China's economy and has battered Chinese shares and the yuan currency.
It has also brought purchases of U.S. soybeans by China to a virtual standstill. Soybeans are the largest U.S. agricultural export to China.
"I think both sides are optimistic ... more optimistic after the call last week that took place, that some kind of a solution can be reached," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)