Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed "progress" after shaking hands with Blinken at the Great Hall of the People, a grand venue usually reserved for greeting heads of state. "The relationship was at a point of instability, and both sides recognized the need to work to stabilize it," Blinken said before leaving China. This is very good," Xi told Blinken on Monday across a long table adorned with pink flowers. His meetings in Beijing, including talks with China's top diplomat Wang Yi and foreign minister Qin Gang, had been "candid and constructive," Blinken added. Asked what specific progress the two sides had made, Yang said they had agreed to prevent a downward spiral in relations.