May 30, 2024

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Blinken meets with China’s Wang Yi, and all eyes are on his potential meeting with Xi Jinping


Beijing
CNN

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sat down with China’s top diplomat on the last day of A High stakes visit to Beijing It aims to stabilize relations, which erupted in the wake of a dispute over a Chinese surveillance balloon.

All eyes are on whether Washington’s envoy will meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping later in the day in what could be a crucial step in mending the fractured relationship.

Global powers are increasingly at odds, and there is widespread international interest in whether Blinken’s trip can secure a de-escalation of tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Blinken and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi The talks began on Monday morning, taking pictures at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing before heading into closed-door discussions.

The two sides went into the visit — the first by a US secretary of state to China in five years — with the obvious aim of course to mend their relationship, which has been badly strained by a host of issues ranging from close ties between Beijing and Moscow to US efforts to limit the sale of advanced technologies to China.

Monday is expected to be a major test of how far the two powers can go to stabilize the fractured lines of communication, which have frayed over the past year, especially when it comes to High-level military exchanges Raising fears in Washington that a mistake or incident could quickly turn into a conflict.

Fiery tensions formed the backdrop to the first day of Blinken’s visit on Sunday, as Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Gang said during his meeting with the US envoy that Sino-US relations were at the “lowest point” since the restoration of diplomatic relations. In 1979, according to Beijing.

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Whether Blinken meets with Xi will be a major indication of China’s interest in taking steps to rebuild that relationship.

In the run-up to the meeting, Beijing sought to Blame Washington to the deterioration of relations and warned them against “interfering in China’s internal affairs.”

The US top diplomat’s previous trips often involved confrontation with China’s supreme leader. Neither side has yet confirmed whether such a meeting will take place.

A senior State Department official told reporters that Blinken’s Sunday meeting with Chen, which lasted more than five hours and then concluded with a business dinner, resulted in progress “on a number of fronts,” with both sides showing “a desire to ease tensions.” Sunday.

The official added that “deep differences” between the United States and China were also evident during the meeting.

China described Sunday’s talks as “frank, in-depth and constructive,” noting that the two sides agreed to “advance dialogue, exchanges and cooperation” and “maintain high-level interactions.”

Chen also called on the United States to “adopt an objective and rational perception of China,” and to “make clear demands” on the United States’ policy towards China. Taiwanan island democracy that China’s ruling Communist Party claims but never took control of.

While Chen holds the title of foreign minister, he wields less power than Wang, who directs China’s foreign policy through his position among the party’s core leadership.

Both the US and China played down expectations of a major breakthrough during Blinken’s visit.

Ahead of the meeting, Washington was careful to manage expectations, with a senior State Department official last week telling reporters he did not expect a “long list of accomplishments.”

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Blinken’s visit was originally scheduled for early February, and was agreed upon as a follow-up to a friendly face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali in November.

This meeting – the first in person between the two leaders as presidents – saw a pivotal step in restoring some lines of communication, which Beijing snapped Following a visit last year by then Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

Blinken’s earlier planned visit was postponed after suspicion Chinese observation balloon The discovery of the crossing of the continental United States increased tensions between the two powers, even as China issued a rare statement of regret and claimed the incident was an accident.