United States Secretary of StateAntony Blinkenlanded in Beijing on Sunday on his first trip to China under the administration of Joe Biden.
Delayed by more than four months, Blinken’s trip marks a rare high-level meeting between the United States and China at a period of heightened tension.
Officials from both governments have signaled low expectations for the visit, and a senior State Department official told reporters earlier this week that you don’t expect “a long list of results” from it.
US officials frame the trip as an effort to resume normal channels of communication with China to avoid conflicts between two of the world’s great powers.
Blinken’s visit to Beijing should also help pave the way for additional meetings, including a possible one-on-one meeting between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, later this year.
“What we are working on on this trip is really taking forward what President (Joe) Biden and President Xi (Jinping) agreed to in Bali late last year, which was to establish regular and sustained lines of communication at high levels of our governments precisely to ensure that we communicate as clearly as possible to avoid, as much as possible, misunderstandings and miscommunications.” Blinken said on Friday at a press conference together with Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
The State Department said Blinken will meet with “senior officials [de la Republica Popular China] where he will discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the US-PRC relationship.”
Blinken “will also raise bilateral issues of concern, global and regional issues, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges,” department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
Blinken said that in his meetings with senior Chinese officials he intends to raise “our very real concerns on a variety of issues.”
Those problems include the fentanyl crisis, the Taiwan and Taiwan Strait issues, the war in Ukraine, and China’s detention of US citizens, including Kai Li, Mark Swidan, and David Lin.
On the fentanyl crisis, the senior State Department official said Blinken’s specific focus is on stopping the flow of precursor chemicals from China to laboratories in South America, where fentanyl is produced.
Blinken also said Friday that he intends to “explore the potential for cooperation on transnational challenges: global economic stability, illicit synthetic drugs, climate, global health, where the interests of our countries intersect and the rest of the world expects us to cooperate.” .
Biden told reporters on Saturday that believed Blinken’s trip to China could ease tensions and said he hoped to meet Xi again in the “next few months.”
With information from CNN, The Washington Post and CNBC
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Source: La Opinion