Blinken to visit China, discuss bilateral ties

2024-04-23 08:34:39China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China from Wednesday to Friday amid intensive engagements recently between Chinese and U.S. officials, in a trip that analysts said could lay the groundwork for keeping bilateral ties on the right track.

Blinken will meet with senior Chinese officials in Shanghai and Beijing to discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, such as the crisis in the Middle East, the Ukraine crisis and the South China Sea, according to a statement released by the United States Department of State.

He will also discuss ongoing work to fulfill the commitments made by the two heads of state during their meeting in San Francisco in November on counternarcotics cooperation, military-to-military communication, artificial intelligence and the strengthening of people-to-people ties, the statement said.

Blinken's trip will follow a telephone conversation between President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden on April 2, in which both sides agreed to stay in communication and tasked their teams to deliver on the common understanding of the two presidents.

His trip will also follow the visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen from April 4 to 9. During her visit, Yellen reiterated that the U.S. is not seeking to decouple from China, and she called for both sides to maintain communication.

Since Yellen's visit, there have been intensive interactions between the two countries. On April 11, Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Blinken, exchanging views on the situation in the Middle East.

From April 14 to 16, Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and Sarah Beran, the U.S. National Security Council's senior director for China affairs, visited China.

On April 16, Defense Minister Dong Jun had a video call with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

In addition, as a follow-up to Yellen's visit, the economic and financial working groups of China and the U.S. held their fourth meeting in Washington, DC, on April 16, with the two sides engaging in "in-depth, pragmatic and constructive" dialogue on the macroeconomic situations of both countries and the world, as well as on how to achieve balanced growth, among other topics.

Zhao Minghao, a professor of international studies at Fudan University, said all these interactions, including Blinken's upcoming visit to China, will help prepare for the development of bilateral relations.

"Beijing and Washington should not carry out a dialogue simply for its own sake. They need to meet each other halfway and genuinely commit to bringing about practical results," Zhao said. "Can Washington put its words into action? This will be critical to the stabilization of China-U.S. ties and their ongoing durability."

During a fireside chat on Friday with Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng reemphasized that the China-U.S. relationship should not be defined by competition, as there are many areas in which the two countries can cooperate.

"This is like racing cars on a cliff's edge, where conceited drivers are most likely to end up falling into the abyss below," Xie said.

On China-U.S. economic and trade relations, Xie stressed that such ties are essentially mutually beneficial.

"A trade war serves no one's interests," he said. "Ultimately, American consumers will pay the cost, American businesses will suffer losses, the international economic and trade order and global industrial and supply chains will be rattled, and the global recovery will be dragged down."


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