President Obama is sending National Security Adviser Susan Rice to another global hot spot: China.
During her Sept. 7-9 visit to Beijing, Rice will attend "meetings with senior Chinese officials, including State Councilor Yang Jiechi, to consult on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues," said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.
Obama is expected to visit China in November for a meeting with President Xi Jinping. The two leaders may also see each other during United Nations meetings in late September.
China is feuding with its Asian neighbors, and tensions with the U.S. have risen over cyber security and a recent air fighter incident over the South China Sea.
Rice "will underscore the United States' commitment to building a productive relationship between our two countries in advance of the President's visit to China in November," Hayden said.
"US-Chinese relations have been rattled in recent months by a string of incidents, including the moment last week when Washington said a Chinese fighter jet buzzed a US surveillance plane in international airspace off Hainan Island.
"Allegations of Chinese cyber hacking of US firms and Washington's calls on Beijing to ease territorial disputes with various nations in the South China Sea have also complicated relations."