Kerry meets China's Xi amid heightened Asia tensions
BEIJING (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, amid increasingly tense territorial rows between Beijing and Washington's security allies Tokyo and Manila.
Kerry started his Valentine's Day visit with a meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People, and was due to meet other officials including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later.
Kerry's trip comes at a pivotal moment for the region, with flaring disputes between Beijing and Tokyo over their World War II history and disputed islands in the East China Sea sending relations between the Asian powers plummeting to their lowest point in recent years.
Fears of an aerial or maritime clash over the islands have spiked following Beijing's recent declaration of an air defence identification zone in the skies above the East China Sea.