First visit in five years: Frosty relations: US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in China for his much-anticipated visit.

First visit in five years: Frosty relations: US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in China for his much-anticipated visit. As reported by Chinese state television, Blinken landed in Beijing today. A series of meetings with senior Chinese officials are planned during the visit, which lasts until Monday.

According to US information, Blinken was scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang this afternoon. Later there will be dinner together.

The goal is open communication so that both countries can shape their relationships responsibly, Blinken said before he left. Against the background of the strict Chinese corona measures, but also because of the very tense relations, there had been no visit by a US Secretary of State to Beijing since 2018. It is Blinken's first trip to China since he took office. He is making up for the visit that was postponed at the beginning of February due to the balloon affair and allegations of espionage against China.

The relationship between the two countries is at a low point. Among other things, China's support for Russia's war in Ukraine, Beijing's threats against Taiwan and the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries are causing contention. President Joe Biden's government sees China as the greatest geopolitical challenge and is taking a tough stance on Beijing. China, in turn, accuses the United States of hegemonic ambitions.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, signaled willingness to talk ahead of Blinken's arrival, but provided conditions. The US should stop "saying one thing and doing another," Wang Wenbin said on Friday. Washington should also stop fantasizing about a "position of strength" vis-à-vis China. China is committed to a gradual return of relations to a "stable development path".

Shortly before Blinken's arrival in Beijing, US President Joe Biden promised a meeting with President Xi Jinping in the near future. "I hope to meet with Xi again in the coming months and discuss legitimate differences we have, but also areas where we can get along," Biden said during a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, yesterday. .

Biden downplayed the incident of the Chinese balloon shot down by the US: He doesn't think the leadership in Beijing knew where the balloon was or how it was equipped. "I think it was more embarrassing than intended."

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