- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry has opened his home to a top Chinese diplomat for two days of discussions aimed at easing tensions between the two nations.

To kick off the talks on Friday, Kerry welcomed China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi to his house in the tony Beacon Hill neighborhood for a dinner. A full slate of meetings is on tap for Saturday.

Officials say the meetings are expected to focus on U.S.-China relations and global issues. They are likely to include the threat from the Ebola virus, the Iran nuclear negotiations and North Korea as well as tension between Washington and Beijing over developments in Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, Kerry held talks in Washington with China’s foreign minister during which they aired differences over pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Kerry has taken to meeting foreign officials in Boston instead of Washington of late. He hosted British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Boston earlier this month.

After his meetings with Yang on Saturday, Kerry will travel to Indonesia for the inauguration Monday of its new president, Joko Widodo, who won a July election.

On Tuesday, Kerry will go to Berlin to meet with Germany’s foreign minister.

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