UNITED NATIONS: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Monday with China’s vice president, the latest top-level dialogue in days between the rival powers.
The State Department said on its public schedule that Blinken will meet Vice President Han Zheng in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The talks come as the United States watches with growing intrigue at personnel changes in Beijing. Qin Gang, handpicked by President Xi Jinping as foreign minister, was abruptly replaced in July by the veteran policymaker Wang Yi.
US officials initially expected Wang to travel to the annual UN meeting, where he may have met briefly with President Joe Biden, but instead China said that the comparatively lesser-known Han would come.
But Wang, who also is the Communist Party foreign policy director, held talks over the weekend with Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, in Malta.
The United States says it is eager to keep open lines of communication with China to manage the frequent tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have both traveled this year to Beijing, resuming contact that had all but ceased during the pandemic.