Excel to complete rare visit to China can meet

Akash Arjun

Global Courant

By Humeyra Pamuk

BEIJING (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with China’s top diplomat and perhaps its president on Monday, the last day of a rare visit to Beijing to prevent the many disagreements between the strategic rivals from further deteriorating relations.

Blinken, the first US secretary of state to visit China in five years, held more than 7.5 hours of “candid” and “constructive” talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday, though they appeared to make no concrete progress. books on disputes over Taiwan, trade, human rights and fentanyl.

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Both expressed a desire to stabilize ties despite what one US official called their “profound” differences, and agreed that Qin would visit Washington to continue talks, though no date was announced.

Blinken will meet China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on Monday, but all eyes will be on whether he will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, an engagement that sources familiar with the matter said was expected but has yet to be finalized. confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While both sides said Sunday’s talks were constructive, they seemed to agree on little other than to keep the conversation going with an eventual meeting in Washington and work to make it easier for their citizens to understand each other’s countries. visits.

Speaking after a 5-1/2 hour meeting followed by dinner, US and Chinese officials both emphasized their desire for stable and predictable relations.

But China also made it clear that Taiwan is the most important issue, and a potentially dangerous one.

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“Qin Gang pointed out that the Taiwanese issue is the core of China’s core interests, the most important issue in China-US relations and the greatest risk,” Chinese state media quoted Qin as saying to the top US diplomat.

Ties between China and the US have deteriorated across the board in recent years, raising concerns that the two may one day clash militarily over the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

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Particularly troubling for China’s neighbors is Beijing’s reluctance to engage in regular military-to-military consultations with Washington.

In the first visit to China since US President Joe Biden took office, Blinken in his talks with Qin “emphasized the need to reduce the risk of misconceptions and miscalculations,” according to the State Department.

Prior to the talks, US officials saw little chance of a breakthrough in the many disputes between the world’s major economies, including US efforts to hold back China’s semiconductor industry and stem the flow of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl and its precursor chemicals from China. fuses .

U.S. officials and analysts expect Blinken’s visit to pave the way for more bilateral meetings in the coming months, including possible tours of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

It could also set the stage for talks between Xi and Biden at multilateral summits later this year.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in Beijing; Additional reporting by Dominique Patton in Beijing and by Katharine Jackson in Washington; Written by Humeyra Pamuk and Arshad Mohammed; Edited by Bill Berkrot)

Excel to complete rare visit to China can meet

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