US, China discuss possible meeting of secretary of state, Chinese foreign minister: Media

The meetings could set the stage for US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold a bilateral summit in October. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Top Chinese and US diplomats may hold talks during a Group of 20 meeting next week in Italy, the Financial Times reported, a sign that the governments of the world's biggest economies may be taking steps towards easing tensions.

Talks about a possible meeting between Chinese Foreign Minster Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are ongoing, the newspaper reported on Wednesday (June 23), citing three people familiar with the matter.

The United States is also exploring the possibility of a telephone call between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, the report added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing on Wednesday in Beijing that he did not have any information on the matter to offer. The US Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In March, the first high-level talks between the US and China since Mr Biden took office quickly descended into bickering and recrimination, showing that the two nations would not quickly get past the souring of ties seen during the Trump administration.

Washington is also looking to send Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to China this summer, the Financial Times reported.

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