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BEIJING: A high-level US delegation held talks with China’s vice foreign minister on Sunday and Monday in Langfang, a city neighbouring Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The visit aimed to follow up on US President Joe Biden’s recent talks with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and prepare for Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit there early next year, the US State Department said on Saturday.

At the talks in Langfang, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, Senior Director for China Affairs of the White House National Security Council, Laura Rosenberger, and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng had an “extensive exchange” of views on international and regional issues of common concern, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing in Beijing.

“The talks were frank, in-depth and constructive,” Wang said.

The relatively upbeat note about the talks contrasted sharply with what Wang said at the same news conference about the United States’ imposition of sanctions on two Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Tibet.

Biden and Xi engaged in blunt talks over Taiwan and North Korea on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia in mid-November, a meeting aimed at preventing strained US-China relations from deteriorating into a new Cold War.

The two leaders pledged more frequent communications at a time of simmering differences also on human rights, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and economic issues.

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