Antony Blinken to meet China’s Xi Jinping

Norman Ray

Global Courant

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 19, 2023.

Leah Millis | Afp | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday as the top US diplomat wraps up his rare two-day visit to Beijing amid escalating tensions between the US and China.

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Blinken’s meeting with Xi began shortly after 4:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET), China’s state media Xinhua reported.

Blinken’s trip makes him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China since Joe Biden became U.S. president and the first U.S. Secretary of State to make the trip in nearly five years. A meeting with Xi had not been confirmed before Blinken arrived in Beijing, and will likely be seen as a positive sign that talks are going well.

Blinken’s visit to China is expected to pave the way for a meeting between Biden and Xi in November. The two world leaders last met in person in Bali, Indonesia, late last year on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

Earlier, Blinken met with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on Monday, after “candid, substantive and constructive talks” with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

The meeting was expected to address a range of issues, including the importance of open lines of communication, Taiwan, the South China Sea and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Blinken “underscored the importance of responsibly managing competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China through open communication channels to ensure that competition does not turn into conflict,” said Matthew Miller, spokesman for the State Department.

The secretary also reiterated that the United States will continue to use diplomacy to raise concerns and champion the interests and values ​​of the American people.

Wang stressed that the Blinken visit came at a critical time in China-US relations. in a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs translated via Google. He said both sides must choose between cooperation and conflict, adding that the difficulties in the countries’ ties are rooted in the US’s “misperception of China, leading to wrong policies towards China.”

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Wang further urged Washington to abandon its so-called “Chinese threat theory”, lift sanctions against Beijing and stop suppressing China’s technological development.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wang’s characterization of the nature of the problems between the US and China.

(TagsToTranslate)Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken to meet China’s Xi Jinping

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