Beijing and Washington are paving the way for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to visit the US, moving ahead with high-level official exchanges and taking other steps to improve the tone of their turbulent relations, Report informs via the WSJ.

Both sides are discussing a trip to Washington by Xi’s top economic-policy aide, Vice Premier He Lifeng, according to people briefed on the matter. He would be the most-senior official to travel to the US since President Biden took office. Meantime, planning is also under way for Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit Washington in October to prepare for a Xi summit with Biden, the people said.

China facilitated the transfer this week of an American soldier from North Korean custody, US officials said. National security adviser Jake Sullivan had raised the soldier’s case in a meeting 10 days ago with Wang, the officials said.

The latest developments push forward the momentum both governments have been trying to create after months of across-the-board tensions and suggest an increased likelihood that Xi will attend a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders to be held in San Francisco in November. Beyond that gathering, Beijing is seeking a separate high-profile summit with Biden, something both governments see as a potential boost to the months of tentative efforts to stabilize ties.

The two leaders last met in November 2022 ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Bali, Indonesia, where they instructed officials to resume stalled talks on global priorities.

Progress in relations remains tentative, with deep-seated suspicion and entrenched differences on most issues. Disagreements could boil over and scuttle a summit or visits by other senior Chinese officials. In a new worry, US officials are concerned a government shutdown would further delay planning for the meetings or the summit.