US, China agree to hold high-level meetings in the coming weeks

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China's Vice President Han Zheng have agreed to hold further high-level talks in the coming weeks. Observers are waiting to see whether the two countries will be able to have a summit meeting this fall.

On Monday, Blinken and Han met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

The US State Department says the two exchanged views on a range of key issues. On the issue of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Blinken is believed to have urged China not to provide military aid to Moscow.

The two sides are also thought to have discussed North Korea. This comes after last week's summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

On the issue of Taiwan, the State Department says Blinken underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

It says both sides "reiterated their commitment to maintaining open lines of communication, including follow-on senior engagements in the coming weeks."

The United States is due to host a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco in mid-November.

Observers are eager to see whether US President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping will be able to meet on the sidelines of that event. If so, it would be their first bilateral summit in about one year.