Blinken’s delayed China trip aims to mend strained US relations

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is reportedly planning a visit to China this month in an effort to mend the tense relationship between the two nations. According to unnamed US officials, Blinken is expected to arrive in Beijing on June 18 for discussions with high-ranking Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Qin Gang and potentially President Xi Jinping.

US media outlet Politico also reported that the trip could occur as early as next week, although neither the US Department of State nor the Chinese foreign ministry have confirmed these plans. Blinken’s visit was initially scheduled for early February but was postponed due to the discovery of a Chinese “spy balloon” over US territory, which led to accusations of surveillance.

China expressed regret for the balloon entering US airspace, claiming it was a civilian airship used for meteorological research. However, US President Joe Biden’s decision to shoot it down was met with condemnation from Chinese officials.

“It’s very important to emphasise that the presence of this surveillance balloon over the United States, in our skies, is a clear violation of our sovereignty, a clear violation of international law and clearly unacceptable,” Blinken said at the time.

The incident further strained the already tense relationship between the US and China. Despite both nations expressing a desire to avoid a “new Cold War,” disagreements over trade, Taiwan’s status, China’s claims in the South China Sea, and the US’s efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific have continued to cause friction.

Nevertheless, the White House has stated that the two superpowers are attempting to “maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage competition.” In early May, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, held talks with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, in Vienna. Additionally, Daniel Kritenbrink, the top US diplomat for the Asia-Pacific region, visited China earlier this week.

However, China’s defence minister reportedly declined an offer from US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to engage in discussions during a security symposium in Singapore last week. If Blinken’s trip goes ahead, it would be the highest-level visit by a US official to China since former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit in 2018, as reported by Politico.

World News


With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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