US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next weekend, a visit that was postponed in February following the incursion of a Chinese balloon into US airspace, it said. US officials on Friday.
Mr. Blinken is expected to land on June 18 in Beijing. It would be the first visit by a senior US diplomat to China since his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s trip in October 2018, said the officials, who requested anonymity. His visit has not yet been officially announced by the US State Department.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had recently said that Washington would communicate “in the near future” about the trips of senior US officials, without giving further details. Last November, for the first time since Joe Biden entered the White House, the American president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Indonesia. The two leaders had agreed to cooperate on certain issues during their discussions.
Relations between the two powers were again tense in February after the overflight of American territory by a balloon considered as a spy by Washington. Mr. Blinken then canceled his trip to China at the last minute. However, both sides have recently sought to play the appeasement card, notably during a closed-door meeting in May in Vienna between the White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi.
But despite the American promise of a “thaw”the two countries continue to cross swords on the issues of Taiwan, Chinese territorial claims in the China Sea or even the strategic issue of electronic chips.
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