Beijing is ready to improve ties with Washington, a senior Chinese official said Wednesday, days before a highly anticipated potential meeting between leaders Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in San Francisco. Recent high-level meetings have sent out “positive signals and raised the expectations of the international community on the improvement of China-US relations,” Vice-President Han Zheng told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “We are ready to strengthen the communication and dialogue with the United States at all levels, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, properly manage differences, and jointly address global challenges,” Han said. A “stable and sound” relationship is the common expectation of people from both sides, he added. President Biden will travel to San Francisco on November 14 to host representatives from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies. US officials have stopped short of confirming the Xi-Biden meeting, suggesting preparations were underway, but noted that the Chinese government regularly confirms high-level meetings only at the last minute. Ahead of that potential meeting, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has invited Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, known as the country’s “economic tsar,” for a two-day meeting starting Thursday. Ties between the two of world’s largest economies, which had been at loggerheads over a host of issues, have warmed after a flurry of high-level exchanges over the summer. Washington has sent four cabinet officials to Beijing since June, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Climate Envoy John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Washington. He met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Biden. The Biden administration had described Wang’s visit as “part of ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication with China across the full range of issues.” Warm words from Xi Han’s comments came a few days after Xi sent a message emphasizing the importance of “building bridges of friendship” between the two countries, as part of a conference celebrating the establishment of “sister cities,” which are broad-based, long-term partnership between communities in different countries. “Sister provinces or states and sister cities are important platforms for deepening friendship,” Xi said in a congratulatory letter to the fifth China-US Sister Cities Conference on Friday, noting that 284 pairs had been formed since 1979. “The foundation of Sino-US relations lies in the people, and the source of strength lies in people-to-people friendship,” Xi added. Biden and Xi last met face-to-face in November 2022 for a three-hour talk in Bali, Indonesia, at a G20 summit. Relations soured subsequently over trade tension and after one of China’s alleged surveillance balloons was shot down by US fighter jets in February — only to warm following the diplomatic visits this summer. The high-stakes potential meeting next week comes as the White House is navigating major wars in Ukraine and Israel, amid growing competition with China. Biden has frequently framed the battle between the world’s democracies and autocracies as a central issue of his presidency. Other key issues up for discussion include human rights concerns, trade and the economy. On Wednesday, ahead of the Yellen-He meeting, the Treasury Department issued its semi-annual foreign exchange report, which kept China on its watchlist for its lack of transparency in currency management and its “outsized” trade imbalance. “China’s failure to publish foreign exchange (FX) intervention and broader lack of transparency around key features of its exchange rate mechanism make it an outlier among major economies and warrants Treasury’s close monitoring,” it said. The Treasury Department didn’t name any country as currency manipulator in its Wednesday report. But Yellen said in a statement on Wednesday that the department “remains vigilant” to countries’ currency practices.