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A group of former Chinese officials and scholars visited the U.S. early this month as President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
What Happened: The Chinese delegation to New York was led by Xi's former vice-minister of foreign affairs, Wang Chao, who is also the party chief of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, a state-affiliated civil diplomacy organization, reported South China Morning Post.
During the nine-day trip — which concluded on Nov. 16, two days after the Xi-Biden meeting in Bali — the Chinese delegation met former U.S. officials and executives led by Maurice Greenberg.
Greenberg, the former chairman and CEO of insurer American International Group, is known for his close ties with China.
The trip was one of the first by such a delegation after Xi took office for the third time after the end of the Communist Party’s five-yearly national congress last month.
According to experts, the semi-official diplomatic delegation visiting the U.S. could turn out to be a healthy development in U.S.-Sino ties, which have been turbulent in recent years.
"A visit led by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, which is a civil organization, will allow both countries to discuss more practical issues such as trade and commerce," Lu Xiang, a US-Sino relations specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the publication.
Meanwhile, Biden at the G20 told Xi that he was committed to keep lines of communication open between "you and me personally."