China and Britain should "strengthen exchanges and cooperation", Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told his UK counterpart on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, state media in Beijing said on Saturday.

China and the UK have traded barbs in recent months over accusations of human rights abuses and espionage.

The Chinese foreign ministry said last month it had sentenced a British national to jail for spying and has previously blasted the UK's support for pro-democracy protesters from Hong Kong.

Wang told British Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Munich on Friday the two countries should "enhance strategic communication and play their due roles in promoting security and maintaining peace", state news agency Xinhua said in a readout on Saturday.

Wang warned that the world faced challenges including "resurfacing Cold War mentality, rampant protectionism, and sluggish economic recovery", according to Xinhua.

He called for the two countries to "strengthen exchanges and cooperation... and bring bilateral relations back to the right track of sound and steady development".

Wang is set to make a speech on Saturday at the annual security gathering in Munich, which brings together top diplomatic and military officials from around the world and is seen as a barometer of transatlantic relations.

He also met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, holding what the Chinese foreign ministry called "candid, substantive and constructive discussions".