Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing on Sunday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
This meeting marked a critical step in the long-awaited endeavor to restore bilateral relations between the U.S. and China, which had declined due to an alleged Chinese spy balloon flying over the U.S. in February.
Blinken is the highest-ranking government official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
Over the weekend, China’s assistant foreign Minister Hua Chunying tweeted a picture of Qin and Blinken shaking hands. “Hope this meeting can help steer China-US relations back to what the two Presidents agreed upon in Bali,” Chunying said as tweeted.
Hope this meeting can help steer China-U.S. relations back to what the two Presidents agreed upon in Bali. pic.twitter.com/C9zPwjSDen
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) June 18, 2023
U.S. officials have downplayed the likelihood of a significant breakthrough during Blinken’s trip. However, they emphasized that Blinken’s main objective was to establish reliable and transparent communication channels. The aim was to prevent a strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China from escalating into a full-blown conflict, Reuters reported.
According to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters in Tokyo en-route to China, a smaller meeting and a dinner would follow.
Blinken may also meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and deliver remarks at a news conference.
“We’re not going to Beijing with the intent of having some sort of breakthrough or transformation in the way that we deal with one another,” Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs said. “We’re coming to Beijing with a realistic, confident approach and a sincere desire to manage our competition in the most responsible way possible.”
According to a senior State Department official, U.S. and China ties have not been on a steady path toward more normalized relations. The two sides are well aware of the state of bilateral ties, and there’s a recognition by both parties that senior-level interactions are needed to help stabilize the relationship.
Zenger News does not provide investment advice.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Rachmad Imam Tarecha and Joseph Hammond
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