The United States and China held "candid" talks on maritime issues on Friday, including on the contested South China Sea, and the U.S. side underscored its concerns about "dangerous and unlawful" Chinese actions there, the U.S. State Department said.

The talks took place in Beijing between the department's China Coordinator Mark Lambert and China's Director-General for Boundary and Ocean Affairs Hong Liang, the State Department said in a statement.

The meeting follows recent high-level diplomacy ahead of an expected meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the mid November APEC summit in San Francisco.