Blinken’s visit to Beijing began, avoid mistaking the main objective

Blinken's visit to Beijing began, avoid mistaking the main objective
Ministers Blinken (L.) and Kin

NOS newsEdited

US Secretary of State Blinken has begun his visit to China. He was received by Chinese Premier Qin Gang at the Chinese Government Guest House in Beijing. The two shook hands and posed for photos, then went inside for a closed-door conversation.

Blinken awaits a tough visit. The relationship between China and the United States is under great strain due to tensions surrounding Taiwan, China’s expansion of power in the South China Sea, an ongoing trade war, and disagreements over the war in Ukraine.

Avoid misunderstandings

Improvements are not expected. Before departure, Blinken said one of the goals of the trip was direct communication. The U.S. wants to make sure a conflict with China doesn’t turn into a conflict over avoidable misunderstandings, says Blinken.

Blinken will stay in Beijing for two days and meet at least with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang and possibly President Xi Jinping. President Biden hopes to meet with Xi this year. That could be at the G20 summit in Singapore in September and the Summit for the Pacific and the Surrounding Countries in Los Angeles in November.

Financial markets

Blingen’s trip to China is also being closely watched in financial markets. America and China are the largest economies in the world. Any reconciliation or, conversely, new tensions could have major consequences there.

This is the first visit by a US Secretary of State to China in five years. The meeting was scheduled for February, but was postponed by the US after a Chinese balloon floated in US airspace. The US believed it was created for espionage purposes.

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