US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced that he will speak “directly and openly” about the “very real concerns” of the US during his scheduled trip to China. Blinken said that he has a series of meetings scheduled with high-ranking representatives of the Chinese government in Beijing.
Goal of the visit is open communication
The goal is to establish open communication so that both countries can responsibly manage their relationship. The relationship between the US and China has been strained due to several disputes. The US wants to ensure that “the competition we have with China” does not turn into conflicts due to preventable misunderstandings, said Blinken on Friday in Washington to the press.
Delay in the trip due to espionage incident
His trip to Beijing arose from a meeting between President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping in Bali last year, but the talks in Beijing were originally scheduled for February. Blinken cancelled the trip at short notice due to a suspected Chinese espionage balloon over the United States.
Biden downplays espionage incident
Biden played down the significance of the espionage balloon on Saturday, saying that he did not believe the Chinese leadership knew where the balloon was or how it was equipped. “I think it was more embarrassing than anything else.”
Details of the visit to remain unknown
It is Blinken’s first trip as US Chief Diplomat to the People’s Republic of China, and the first visit by a US Secretary of State to China in five years. The trip planned is for a two-day stay, but the details have not been disclosed. According to Reuters, Blinken is expected to meet with his counterpart Qin Gang. A meeting with President Xi Jinping is also possible.
Mutual threats and disputes
Prior to Blinken’s arrival in Beijing, US President Biden teased a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. “I hope to meet with Xi again in the next few months and address the legitimate differences we have – but also discuss areas where we can work together,” said Biden during a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tensions focused on China’s support for Russia and the ongoing trade conflict
China’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, Beijing’s threats to the democratic island of Taiwan, and the ongoing trade conflict between the two countries continue to fuel disagreements. The US government considers China to be its biggest geopolitical challenge, while China accused the US of having hegemonic ambitions.