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Top U.S. diplomat lands in China in bid to tamp down soaring tensions

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning, becoming the first top American diplomat to visit China in nearly five years, in a bid to tamp down soaring tensions between the two superpowers.

Blinken and a coterie of officials were due to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang later in the day, followed by a smaller meeting and dinner, reports said, after a planned February visit to Beijing was canceled when it was revealed that a suspected Chinese spy balloon had been flying over the U.S.

He was also expected to meet Wang Yi, China’s top diplomatic official, and possibly leader Xi Jinping during the two-day trip.