Blinken meets Chinese foreign minister in Beijing

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived for a meeting with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday, the first top American diplomat to visit China in five years, amid frosty bilateral ties and dim prospects for any breakthrough on the long list of disputes between the world’s two largest economies.

Qin Gang greeted Blinken and his group at the door to a villa on the grounds of Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guest House, as the two made small talk in English before shaking hands in front of a Chinese and an American flag.

After heading into a meeting room, neither Blinken nor Qin made comments in front of reporters who were briefly allowed in.

During his stay through Monday, Blinken is also expected to meet with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping, seeking to establish open and durable communication channels to ensure the strategic rivalry between the two countries does not spiral into conflict.