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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sends China goodwill message for National Day and pledges cooperation on 'shared challenges'

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken published a statement congratulating China on its 74th National Day, which commemorates the founding of the People's Republic, pledging more cooperation with Beijing on "shared challenges" as high-level exchanges between the two countries have ramped up in recent months.

"As the United States continues to work with the international community to solve the world's most serious challenges, we welcome the cooperation of the People's Republic of China in addressing shared challenges, including the climate crisis, public health, counter-narcotics, food security, and global macroeconomic stability," said the statement issued on Saturday.

He added that the US wished the people of China "peace, happiness and prosperity" in the year ahead.

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Beijing and Washington have conducted a series of senior official exchanges in recent months after a deep freeze earlier this year.

Four senior officials visited Beijing over the summer: Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and John Kerry, the White House climate envoy.

Chinese Vice-president Han Zheng also met Blinken on September 18 in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. During the meeting, Blinken told Han that it was good to maintain high-level engagements between the two countries to make sure the two sides were "maintaining open communications".

Referring to Blinken's June visit, Han said the trip meant China and the US were "stepping up engagement and dialogue and working together to stabilise the bilateral relationship".

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on September 16 and 17 in Malta covering issues ranging from Taiwan to Russia's war in Ukraine.

Sun Weidong, China's foreign vice-minister for Asia, met Daniel Kritenbrink, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in Washington on Thursday. The two senior diplomats raised sensitive issues including Taiwan, the South China Sea and Washington's Indo-Pacific strategy.

However, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Biden have not met since last November when they held talks on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) meetings in Bali, Indonesia.

Xi was absent from the G20 summit in New Delhi, India this year, which was attended by Biden. The Post reported earlier this week that more diplomatic efforts between Beijing and Washington are required before Xi commits attending the Apec summit in San Francisco in November.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is planning a trip in October to prepare for the Xi-Biden talks, quoting people familiar with the situation.

It also said Beijing and Washington were paving the way for a US visit by Chinese vice-premier He Lifeng.

The last senior Chinese official to travel to Washington was Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, who visited in late May.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2023 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.