China and the United States agreed on the need to stabilize their relationship strained over Taiwan and other issues during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Beijing through Monday, the two governments said, with a summit meeting between their leaders expected to be arranged later this year.

Blinken, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials during his two-day stay in Beijing, said both sides shared the importance of direct engagement to ensure their competition does not veer into conflict and said he expects additional China visits by senior U.S. officials over the coming weeks.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang was invited to Washington as part of the two countries' efforts to keep up dialogue, although the timing has yet to be arranged.

Xi told Blinken that China seeks "a sound and steady relationship" with the United States and said Beijing does not seek to challenge or displace Washington, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

As the strategic rivalry between the United States and China heats up over a range of issues, including Taiwan, human rights and trade, other countries have grown concerned about the risk of a strategic miscalculation or an unintended military confrontation between the two powers.

Xi told Blinken during their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that the world needs a generally stable China-U.S. relationship and the two countries should act with a sense of responsibility.

Blinken said that responsibly managing U.S.-China relations serves the best interests of not only the two countries but also the world. He said he "raised repeatedly" the issue of restoring bilateral military-to-military communication.

Beijing has cut military-to-military communication channels with Washington following a visit by then House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last August. Pelosi became the most senior U.S. official to have set foot on the self-ruled democratic island, which China regards as its own, in a quarter of a century.

The secretary said he conveyed U.S. concerns over China's "provocative actions" in the Taiwan Strait and Washington's opposition to any changes in the status quo. Blinken also reaffirmed the U.S. policy of not supporting Taiwan independence.

Earlier in the day, China's top diplomat Wang Yi told Blinken that Beijing "has no room for compromise or concession" over the Taiwan issue, adding that safeguarding national unity has always been at "the core of China's core interests." He urged Washington to "earnestly abide by the one-China principle."

Photo taken from the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Weibo shows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) shaking hands with China's top diplomat Wang Yi in Beijing on June 19, 2023. (Kyodo)

In his talks with Blinken, Wang blamed the United States for the strained relationship, saying the root cause is "U.S. misperceptions of China," which have led to "misguided China policies."

Qin described the Sino-U.S. relationship as at its "lowest point since its establishment" in his meeting with the secretary and said issues surrounding Taiwan pose "the most pronounced risk in the China-U.S. relationship."

Blinken additionally raised concerns about China's alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as its provocative actions in the South and East China seas. The two countries also discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and North Korea.

China and the United States said they explored areas of potential cooperation, including climate change, macroeconomics and food security, and welcomed strengthening people-to-people exchanges, including their commitment to increasing the number of direct flights.

Blinken is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China under the Biden administration. The U.S. president expressed Saturday his hope of meeting with Xi again sometime over the next several months, possibly on the sidelines of multilateral gatherings such as Group of 20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summits.

The leaders held their first in-person meeting in November on the fringes of a G-20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Blinken's China trip was abruptly postponed in February after a suspected Chinese spy balloon was detected flying across the United States.

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