US Secretary of State Blinken meets China’s top diplomat Wang for talks in Beijing

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on Monday, the final day of a rare visit to Beijing aimed at preventing the strategic rivals’ many disagreements from further deteriorating relations.

Sources familiar with the matter said a meeting between Blinken and Chinese President Xi Jinping was expected but yet to be confirmed by the State Department.

The first U.S. secretary of state to visit China in five years, Blinken held more than 7-1/2 hours of talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

U.S. officials and analysts expect Blinken’s visit will pave the way for more bilateral meetings in coming months and could also set the stage for talks between Xi and Biden at multilateral summits later in the year.