His arrival marks the first visit of a top American diplomat to China in five years, as relations between the two countries have become increasingly frosty.
Having postponed a February trip after a suspected Chinese spy balloon flew over US airspace, Mr Blinken is set to become the highest-ranking US government official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
During his trip, he is expected to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping.
The aim of the visit is to establish open and robust communication channels between Washington and Beijing, and to ensure the American/Chinese strategic rivalry does not spiral into conflict.
“There’s a recognition on both sides that we do need to have senior level channels of communication,” a senior State Department official told reporters during a refuel stop in Tokyo en route to Beijing.
“That we are at an important point in the relationship where I think reducing the risk of miscalculation, or as our Chinese friends often say, stopping the downward spiral in the relationship, is something that’s important,” the official added.