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China ready to improve ties with US 'at all levels': Vice president

SINGAPORE: Beijing is ready to hold talks with the United States at “all levels”, China’s vice president said on Wednesday (Nov 8) ahead of an expected summit in San Francisco between leaders Xi Jinping and Joe Biden next week.

Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng said recent high-level meetings between Beijing and Washington were sending “positive signals” that relations were improving.

“We’re ready to strengthen communication and dialogue with the United States at all levels, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, properly manage differences and jointly address global challenges,” Han said.

Relations between Washington and Beijing sunk to some of their deepest lows in recent years over a host of issues including export controls, human rights and national security.

But both sides appear willing to patch things up, with Washington sending a number of top officials to Beijing this year in a bid to re-establish high-level dialogue.

Related:

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US President Biden has said he expects to meet Chinese leader Xi on the sidelines of a summit in San Francisco next week for “constructive” talks.

Asked to confirm whether the summit would go ahead, China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday reiterated that the two sides had agreed to meet.

“At the same time, the road to San Francisco is not smooth, and we cannot be on autopilot,” ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing.

“Both sides must … truly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, eliminate interference and overcome obstacles, enhance consensus and accumulate results,” he said, alluding to a meeting between Xi and Biden in Indonesia last year.

And while Beijing is yet to confirm the meeting, Han on Wednesday reiterated Xi’s opinion that the question of US-China ties “bears on the future of humanity”.

“The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together,” he said.

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