US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to meet Xi Jinping in Beijing, making him the first US secretary of state to sit down with the Chinese leader in nearly six years and the first of President Joe Biden’s cabinet secretaries to visit China, Report informs referring to the Financial Times.

Several people familiar with the planning said the top US diplomat would meet Xi during his two-day visit, which starts on February 5. Blinken is visiting China after Biden and Xi agreed in Bali in November that they should find ways to stabilise the turbulent US-China relationship.

His visit marks a new phase of stepped-up engagement between the countries following a very difficult period that was further complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen will visit China later this year. Yellen met Liu He, the top Chinese economic official, in Zurich last month.