The US government says Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China's top diplomat Wang Yi have agreed to maintain open channels of communication in the weeks and months ahead.
The US State Department issued a statement after the two officials met in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday night on the sidelines of talks related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The statement says the meeting "was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication...to responsibly manage competition by reducing the risk of misperception and miscalculation."
It also says Blinken "emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
The Chinese foreign ministry says Wang explained Beijing's stance on Taiwan and warned that the US must not undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Washington and Beijing have recently held high-level dialogue, with US climate envoy John Kerry scheduled to arrive in China on Sunday. But a military hotline between the two countries remains severed.
The question now is whether the strained bilateral relations will start to improve in the run-up to Taiwan's presidential election in January.