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Blinken meets Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on high-stakes diplomatic trip to Beijing – UnlistedNews

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) walks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (right) before a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on June 18, 2023.

Leah Millis | Afp | fake images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and senior diplomat Wang Yi in Beijing on Sunday on a high-risk diplomatic mission to cool tensions between USA and China that have eclipsed geopolitics in recent months.

Blinken’s trip makes him the highest-level US official to visit China since Joe Biden became US President and the first US Secretary of State to make the trip in nearly five years. .

Blinken’s original travel plans for February were disrupted by news of an alleged Chinese spy balloon hovering over US airspace. The United States finally shot down the alleged spy balloon, and tensions between the world’s two largest economies have remained tense ever since. Beijing insisted the balloon was an unnamed weather tracker gone off course.

Blinken will have a working dinner later Sunday at the Diaoyutai State Guest House with Qin, who was previously China’s ambassador to the US. Some reports suggest there may also be a meeting with President Xi Jinping on Monday during Blinken’s two-day visit.

Expectations for a significant recovery in the US-China relationship, especially as a result of Blinken’s trip, remain low. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement last week that Blinken will discuss the importance of keeping the lines of communication open and “raise topics of bilateral interest, global and regional issues, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges.”

At the annual Shangri-La Dialogue event in Singapore earlier this month, the US defense chief and his Chinese counterpart did not have a formal meeting. And more broadly, international travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic limited contact between the US and Chinese governments.

In August, a controversial visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, then the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, fueled the anger of Beijing. Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory, with no right to maintain diplomatic relations on its own. The United States recognizes Beijing as China’s only legal government, while maintaining unofficial relations with the island, a democratically self-governing region.

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Biden’s visit to Beijing could also pave the way for a November meeting between Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi, the first since Bali in November, a day before the G-20 summit began.

In late May, the US Commerce Secretary and her Chinese counterpart met in Washington, DC. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is also expected to visit China at an unspecified time.

China’s new ambassador to the US, Xie Feng, arrived in the US at the end of May after a period of about six months with no one in that position. Biden said around the same time that he expected tensions between the United States and China “to start to ease very soon.”

One potential opportunity for Biden and Xi to meet again would be in November, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in San Francisco.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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