Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signs a condolence book for...

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signs a condolence book for the late Henry Kissinger at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Official China called Kissinger "an old friend." A commentator likened him to a giant panda, a goodwill ambassador between two countries that have been more often at odds over the decades than not. Kissinger, who died Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, developed a special relationship with China in the second half of his 100-year-long life. Credit: AP/Ng Han Guan

BEIJING — The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats agreed Wednesday to keep building on recent progress in bilateral ties and work together to keep the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza from spreading.

Both Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred in a telephone call to last month's closely watched meeting between the two countries' leaders in San Francisco following years of frigid ties.

“The important task for both sides at present is to continue the positive impact of the San Francisco meeting, implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and consolidate the momentum of stabilizing Sino-U.S. relations,” Wang said, according to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Blinken also emphasized that the two sides should build on progress at the summit, according to the U.S. State Department.

President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping agreed at their meeting to keep channels of communication open and resume military-to-military talks. Yet, major political differences between the countries remain far from resolved.

Wang and Blinken also discussed the Israel-Hamas war, where China has been trying to play a role in negotiations, and agreed to maintain communications on the situation. Last Wednesday, China presented a four-point peace plan to the United Nations on ending the conflict, although the plan lacked detail.

Blinken also raised recent attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, an escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Gaza war, and said it was important to keep the conflict from spreading.

U.S. ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, right, listens to Chinese...

U.S. ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, right, listens to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after his signing a condolence book for the late Henry Kissinger at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Official China called Kissinger "an old friend." A commentator likened him to a giant panda, a goodwill ambassador between two countries that have been more often at odds over the decades than not. Kissinger, who died Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, developed a special relationship with China in the second half of his 100-year-long life. Credit: AP/Ng Han Guan

Wang said any solution to the crisis in Gaza requires a two-state arrangement that reflects the will of the Palestinian people.

“China believes that the core of the solution is to respect Palestine’s right to statehood and self-determination,” he said, according to the ministry.

Wang paid respects to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who died last month. Kissinger, who traveled to China in July, contributed to the normalization of U.S.-China relations while serving under President Richard Nixon.

“The diplomatic legacy he left behind is worthy of promotion and development by future generations,” Wang said.

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