Blinken reaffirms importance of stable ties with China in Shanghai meeting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reaffirmed the importance of stable relations with China during a meeting with Shanghai's top official.

Blinken met Chen Jining, secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's Shanghai Municipal Committee, in the city on Thursday.

Blinken said, "We have an obligation for our people and, indeed, an obligation for the world to manage the relationship between our two countries responsibly."

He added, "That is the obligation that we have and one that we take very seriously."

Chen responded by stressing that China and the US should choose cooperation over confrontation. He said diplomatic ties between China and the US are the most important bilateral relations in the world, and the relationship has "progressed forward."

Blinken arrived at an airport in Beijing later in the day. He is scheduled to hold talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping on Friday. The top US diplomat met Xi in China last June.

The latest meetings are expected to touch upon issues over which Washington and Beijing are at odds. These include Taiwan, the South China Sea and Ukraine.