China's National People's Congress and the US Senate have agreed to hold annual meetings, the first such high-level parliamentary exchange between the two countries.
Twelve senior legislators from each side will meet in Beijing in August this year and in Washington in 2005. Hosting of the meetings will alternate between the two capitals.
This year's meeting will discuss agriculture, finance, foreign relations and military affairs and will also include study visits by the staff of the respective legislatures.
The agreement was the product of more than a year of negotiations.