US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to China in early February for continued discussions related to one of America’s most complicated and consequential relationships.
A US official said the State Department is eyeing February 6 for Blinken’s meetings in Beijing, which follow up on President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali late last year.
“On China, as you know, President Biden, President Xi had a very open, candid conversation during the last G20 meeting in Bali, and they spoke about our intentions,” Blinken said at a press conference in Washington, DC, last week. “President Biden shared our intentions and our priorities, and we got some sense of that from President Xi as well.”
“These lines of communication, starting with the presidents but also including many of us, are vitally important,” the top US diplomat said.
“I will have an opportunity to travel to China in the coming weeks to follow up on the President’s discussions precisely to move forward on those lines of communication between us,” he said.
The top-level meetings come amid continued strained relations between Beijing and Washington. Tensions dramatically escalated following former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last year.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that China and the US are “in communication on the specific itinerary.”
“China welcomes Secretary Blinken’s visit to China. We are in communication with the US on the specific itinerary,” Wang said during a regular press briefing.
“We hope the US will walk with China in the same direction, and implement the consensus reached by leaders of both of our countries precisely, so that ties between our countries can resume the healthy and stable course of development,” Wang said.
Wang didn’t mention additional details about the visit.