China and the US are expected to start a strategic dialogue to stop tensions spiralling out of control following this week’s virtual summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden . Chinese analysis said the talks on crisis management could see them coming up with new measures to prevent conflict, but it would be hard to reach agreement on sensitive topics such as Taiwan and nuclear arms control . Zhao Tong, a senior fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy in Beijing, said: “Beijing and Washington have had different purposes in pursuing a stable Sino-US strategic relationship. For China, maintaining bilateral ties with the US is a key factor relating to its future development.” At the virtual summit, Xi and Biden agreed to “carry forward discussions on strategic stability” Later on Tuesday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told a seminar hosted by the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington that both sides would begin series of high-level arms control talks that “cut across security, technology and diplomacy”. On Taiwan, Sullivan said: “Having clear communication, avoiding miscommunication, is going to be an important and intensive aspect of work between our militaries, between our national security councils, and between our diplomats. “And so, you will see at multiple levels, and intensification of the engagement to ensure that there are guardrails around this competition so that it doesn’t veer off into conflict”. Xi and Biden confirmed their willingness to build and develop a stable bilateral relationship, and analysts said both sides could work together on some specific issues such as climate change , pandemic control and nuclear non-proliferation. How Xi and Biden tackled hot-button issues at virtual summit According to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Xi called for greater cooperation in areas such as climate change , diplomacy, security, economics and trade. Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang military science and technology institute in Beijing, said that “there is still a lack of mutual trust between China and the US,” and the rest of the world should not expect a breakthrough. “Mutual trust needs to be built through some big and small things,” said Zhou, who identified Taiwan as the key problem . “For example, recent visits by American lawmakers to Taiwan on US military aircraft were all seen by Beijing as provocative moves to challenge its red lines.” Last week, a group of Republican members of Congress travelled to the island on a US Navy plane for an unannounced visit, prompting the Chinese military to stage a joint combat readiness patrol near the island. A similar visit by US senators in June also saw Beijing sending warplanes to approach the island. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and that must be reunified with the mainland – by force if necessary. Zhao also identified arms controls as another major sticking point. Xi-Biden summit: who were the key players at the talks? “The Chinese central leadership has ordered the People’s Liberation Army to accelerate military modernisation, which is also the mainstream domestic opinion in China,” said Zhao. “Given the fact that the PLA is still in the early stage of being a strong army, it’s impossible for China to make any breakthrough or concession in the arms control area in the foreseeable future.” However, Zhou also said that when Beijing was ready to discuss arms controls, the talks could cover areas such as outer space and missile defence systems as well as nuclear warheads.