China wants to start a dialogue with the Trump administration to promote bilateral relations and talk about differences given that there is mutual respect for each other's interests, such as the 'one China' principle.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said while speaking at a reception for the Chinese Lunar New Year that the future direction of the China-US ties "attracted attention".

In remarks posted on the ministry's website, Wang said: "We are willing, on the basis of strictly abiding by the 'one China' principle and respect of each other's core interests, to have dialogue with the new U.S. government."

Beijing could "increase mutual trust, focus cooperation, manage and control disputes and promote the healthy development of China-U.S. relations, to bring even greater benefits to both peoples", he added.

In an interview to NBC News, China's foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, "One China policy has been the fundamental basis for China-American relationship. Second, because this issue touches upon China's core interests, by no means this is something that can be negotiated, or as a bargaining chip."

The issue of the 'one China' policy made headlines around the world when US President Donald Trump, as president-elect, received a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in early December after winning the election.

For four decades, China asked countries around the world who wanted to establish diplomatic relations with it to abide by the 'one China' policy. Jimmy Carter had switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, essentially acknowledging that Taiwan was a part of China.