The joint statement followed talks in Washington between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino.
The statement also said the two sides discussed rights abuses in China, including repression of religious minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and the erosion of autonomy in Hong Kong. It said they expressed readiness to deepen U.S.-EU information sharing on disinformation sponsored or supported by China.
The statement followed the second meeting of the U.S.-EU Dialogue on China established this year. Sherman and Sannino are due to continue China-related discussions with high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific on Friday.
A U.S. official briefing ahead of the talks said Washington and Brussels have an "increasingly convergent" view of China's "concerning behavior." read more
Speaking separately at a Washington think tank, Vice Admiral Herve Blejean, director general of the EU Military Staff, said there was room for greater coordination to "express our strong desire to defend international law at sea against de facto policies that we've seen in South China Sea."
Blejean told the Center for Strategic and International Studies that France was a Pacific power and there was also interest in the region on the part of other EU members Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, as well as former EU state Britain.
"We have to look at how we message that together, because when we're all united the power of the message is stronger, and how we interact with like-minded nations doing the same - Australia, the United States, Japan, ASEAN countries and so on."
Blejean said the EU could look at establishing a "Maritime Area of Interest" in the South China Sea after a pilot project aimed at better coordinating the maritime presence of EU member states underway in Africa's Gulf of Guinea and another being looked at in the northern Indian Ocean.