Chinese officials have accused the US of inciting countries to “attack China”, while the US says China “came with the intention of gaining prestige”.
The relationship between the two superpowers has been critical for years.
The United States has promised to raise tensions such as the Beijing Muslim occupation of Uighur in Xinjiang.
Who are the Uighurs?
The unrelenting talks at Anchorage included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on the US side, facing China’s top foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
However, a US official said that the secret talks were “big, difficult and straightforward” and lasted two hours.
In an anonymous opening statement before private talks, Mr Blinken said the United States would “discuss our deepest concerns about China’s actions, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks in the United States, economic coercion on our partners”.
“Each of these actions threatens the rule of law that maintains international stability,” he said.
In his defense, Mr Yang accused Washington of using its military power and financial superiority to pressure other countries.
“It violates the so-called national security ideology to prevent normal trade, and to encourage other countries to invade China,” he added.
Mr Yang said human rights in the United States were at an all-time low, with black Americans being “slaughtered”.
Mr Sullivan defended himself, saying Washington did not want to clash with China, but added: “We will always stand by our laws to our people, and to our friends.”
Can the US and China work together?
The exchange, which took place in front of the world’s media, lasted for more than an hour. It’s three o’clock in the morning, which ends on Friday morning.
It is the first high-profile meeting between the United States and China since last June – during the administration of the former US President, Donald Trump.
It was an unusual game of controversy, especially at a conference called to look at American-China relations under the new American administration.
Earlier, the Biden party openly criticized Beijing. So the Chinese know what to expect and seem to be ready to go back.
They were furious that Washington had imposed sanctions on them the day before the talks, over protests against pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
There may be a certain amount of postage involved, as a US official said the ensuing private conversation was intense and sensitive.
Biden’s management has said it will be difficult to deal with, but is willing to work with Beijing on a positive note. However, he described the relationship as a political contest between democracy and independence.
And the Chinese have refused to compromise on what they say are issues of national sovereignty and security. Whether they can earn points for cooperation or not will be a measure of how the relationship progresses.
Subsequently, the U.S. team accused China of violating a two-minute open-word rule on each side.
“The Chinese team … seems to have come here with the intention of highlighting, focusing on theater and sports,” said the chief executive.
The official said the United States would continue negotiations as planned, adding that “exaggerated international presentations are often aimed at domestic audiences”.
In a recent statement by state media, Chinese officials said it was the United States, not China, that violated the law by exceeding the agreed time by opening talks. They accused the United States of carrying out “unfounded attacks on domestic and Chinese policies”.
Best of all, it quoted Mr Yang as saying that “the difficult difficulties in China-US relations in the past should not continue”.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett Usher says the talks are the first opportunity for Biden’s management to show how they intend to deal with what Mr Blinken calls a “great 21st century political test.”
China wants to be reset after relations reached a crisis under Trump’s administration, our correspondent said. Mr Wang said Beijing was ready to reopen “constructive talks.”
What do China and the US disagree on?
That’s a lot.
Trading for example. The US accuses China of unfair practices, such as industrialization, theft of intelligence, keeping its currency low and imposing trade restrictions.
For its part, China wants the removal of huge trade prices introduced by Trump’s executives on Chinese goods. It also blames the US for “squeezing” successful Chinese technology companies, such as Huawei.
Human rights and democracy. The United States blames China for the extermination of the Uighur people in Xinjiang province, and for violating Hong Kong’s democratic rights by a recently introduced security law.
What the US really wants in Chinese negotiations
But China is urging the US to stop interfering in what Beijing looks at in its internal affairs and accuses the United States of “mocking” the ruling Communist Party.
China is also reverting to what it sees as the entry of American troops into the South China Sea, Beijing overlooking China.