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US Diplomat In China for Talks

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg arrived in Beijing Tuesday for talks with Chinese officials meant to repair ties strained by recent diplomatic squabbles.

Steinberg is also expected to address the North Korean nuclear program with China, which is Pyongyang's strongest ally.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Monday that relations between the two nations have been on "a bit of a bumpy path," and said he thinks both sides would like to return to normal as quickly as possible.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters Tuesday that responsibility for the current state of China-U.S. relations does not lie with the Chinese side, but completely with the U.S. side.

China protested last month to a $6.4 billion U.S. arms deal with Taiwan and a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom China regards as a separatist.

Later this week, Steinberg is to meet with Japanese officials in Tokyo. He is accompanied by Asian affairs expert Jeffrey Bader of the National Security Council.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.