Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen arrived Thursday for talks likely to focus on a long-awaited summit between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, Tass said.

The visit, the first at such a high level in three decades, will "promote a further development and consolidation of cooperation and good neighborly relations between the Soviet and Chinese peoples," the official Soviet news agency said.Prior to his departure from Beijing, Qian said the conditions for a summit "were becoming ripe" and said both sides were preparing for the meeting meant to end longstanding frosty relations.