Promises of a meeting between the two leaders follows a trip to Washington by Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
US President Joe Biden is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next month following a visit by China’s top diplomat to the White House on Friday.
The two leaders will probably meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco in November, an event that brings together world and business leaders.
While the White House would not confirm the Biden-Xi meeting, a readout of a meeting between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Friday said the two sides were “working together towards a meeting”.
Xi and Biden have not met since attending the G20 summit in Bali last year.
The Wang and Sullivan talks formed part of a three-day visit to Washington, DC, that saw the foreign minister meet Biden as well as top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The two sides had much to discuss including the Israel-Hamas war, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the presidential election in Taiwan early next year.
China has said it is neutral in the Ukraine war but has been accused of propping up Russia’s economy in the face of heavy Western sanctions.
In the Middle East, meanwhile, observers hope it could play a more conciliatory role due to its strong ties with Israel and Arab states.
The US is arming both Israel and Ukraine, but it has also historically tried to broker peace deals between Palestine and Israel.
Both countries now find themselves in a position to possibly work together to help de-escalate the situation in Gaza, where Israel has threatened to launch a ground invasion.
The point was raised during Biden and Wang’s meeting, where the president “underscored that the United States and China must work together to address global challenges”, according to a White House statement.
The two superpowers also discussed how to improve their often-acrimonious relationship, with Wang saying Beijing wants to “stabilise US-China relations” to “reduce misunderstanding”.
US officials have also said in the past that both sides need “guardrails” to ensure disagreements do not escalate into a military skirmish.
The US has accused Beijing’s air force of engaging in dangerous and aggressive manoeuvres while flying over the South China Sea, as seen in a near collision between a US B-52 bomber and a Chinese J-11 jet earlier this week.
During his meeting with Wang Yi, Biden said China must deescalate similar behaviour towards the Philippines, a US treaty ally whose fishing fleet and coast guard vessels are regularly harassed by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
As Washington and Beijing potentially work together in the Middle East, they remain at odds over Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy claimed by China’s Communist Party as part of its own territory.
The island of 23 million people will hold elections in early January, an event that typically draws an angry response from Beijing.
Beijing has historically tried to influence the results through a range of tactics from online misinformation campaigns to staging military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, an overt reminder that it has not ruled out trying to take the island by force.
Beijing also staged two rounds of exercises over the past 14 months following a visit by then-House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022 and an unofficial trip by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the US in April.
A military conflict between China and Taiwan could draw in the US, which has pledged to help the democracy defend itself, although it has stopped short of promising boots on the ground.