US and China to open communication lines after diplomatic push bears fruit

  • The US and China are opening new lines of communication to tackle contentious issues, in one of the first signs of progress towards stabilising relations since Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Beijing in June.
  • According to three people familiar with the situation, Washington and Beijing will create two working groups to focus on Asia-Pacific regional issues and maritime issues, and a possible third group to focus on broader areas.
  • The move is the first tangible progress towards the goal Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed in Bali in November to set a “floor” under the relationship to stop competition from “veering into conflict”.

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