In December, soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Biden on his election victory, Beijing raised the idea of dispatching Politburo member Yang Jiechi to Washington, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the initiative. The proposal, the report added, was conveyed through letters by the Chinese ambassador to the United States and other intermediaries.
Beijing was planning to bring a message to Biden related to issues other than trade, which was a priority under the Trump administration, according to the report. Since Biden was emphasizing climate change and the pandemic, Yang plans to also focus on those issues, and also work to arrange a summit between Biden and Xi, the report said.
Former President Donald Trump had launched a major trade war with China and accused it of currency rigging and theft of US intellectual property. Trump also accused China of deliberately spreading the COVID-19 to the world, calling it the "Chinese virus", to the consternation of Beijing, which responded by saying the former president had politicized the pandemic ahead of the US election in November.
The Trump administration has placed protective tariffs on Chinese goods over the last four years, vowed to deepen ties with Taiwan, and questioned the Chinese Communist Party in the aftermath of the Hong Kong protests.
However, Biden himself, his cabinet nominees and other administration officials have said the US will crack down on China for alleged unfair trade practices and human rights abuses.
On Tuesday, Anthony Blinken, Biden's national security adviser, said Trump was "right in taking a tougher approach to China" despite disagreeing with how the former president handled the issue.