China and South Korea's foreign ministers have held their first talks in Beijing in more than six years, as both countries look to boost sagging ties and pave the way for a trilateral summit with Japan in Seoul slated for later this month.

China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, and South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul met in the Chinese capital for four hours on Monday, discussing the summit and bilateral relations as the two neighbors aimed to stabilize ties that have faltered in recent years amid the growing rivalry between China and the United States — Seoul’s ally.

"The two ministers agreed to continue cooperation for the successful opening of the ninth South Korea-Japan-China summit that is due to soon take place in South Korea," the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.