China's ambassador to the United States held a rare meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday with the top U.S. defense official for Asia, the Pentagon said, in talks that followed U.S. criticism of Chinese reluctance to engage in military communications.

A brief Pentagon statement said Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng discussed defense relations and "a range of international and regional security issues" in talks with Ely Ratner, a U.S. assistant secretary of defense.

"Ratner also underscored the Department's commitment to maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication between the United States and the PRC," Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners said, using the acronym for China's official name.