Kamala Harris greets China's President Xi Jinping before the APEC Leaders' Retreat in Bangkok. Image Credit: REUTERS

BANGKOK: US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke briefly with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday in another step toward keeping lines of communication open between the two biggest economies.

Harris and Xi exchanged remarks on Saturday while heading into a closed-door meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum’s summit in Bangkok.

“I greeted President Xi before the APEC Leaders Retreat,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “I noted a key message that President Biden emphasized in his November 14 meeting with President Xi: we must maintain open lines of communication to responsibly manage the competition between our countries.”

Their exchange closely echoed Biden’s comment to Xi at an meeting between the two leaders earlier in the week about China and the US keeping lines of communication open.

A brief statement from China’s Foreign Ministry also referenced the Biden-Xi meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, which it described as “strategic and constructive” with “major significance in guiding the next stage of China-US relations.” It said it hoped the vice president will play an active role in working with China to promote the two nations’ relations “to return to a healthy and stable track.”