Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China in early February to continue discussions on one of America’s most complex and important relationships.
A U.S. official said the State Department was eyeing Blinken’s Feb. 6 meeting in Beijing, a follow-up to President Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali late last year.
“Regarding China, as you know, President Biden, President Xi had a very open, candid conversation during the last G20 meeting in Bali where they talked about our intentions,” Blinken said in a news release last week in Washington, D.C. Said at the meeting. “President Biden shared our intentions and our priorities, and we got some sense from President Xi as well.”
“These lines of communication, starting with the president but including many of us, are very important,” the senior U.S. diplomat said.
“I will have the opportunity to travel to China in the next few weeks and follow up on the president’s discussions to advance these lines of communication between us,” he said.
The high-level meeting came amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington. Tensions escalated sharply after former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last year.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that China and the United States were “communicating on the specific itinerary.”
“China welcomes Secretary of State Blinken’s visit to China. We are communicating with the US side on the specific itinerary,” Wang Yi said at a regular press conference.
“We hope that the U.S. and China will meet each other halfway, accurately implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, and promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations,” Wang Yi said.
Wang gave no further details about the visit.