Biden is flirting with Xi.. Will Blinken’s visit open the doors of Beijing?

After his previous visit, which was expected last February, was postponed due to the flight of a suspected Chinese spy balloon in American airspace, he landed US Secretary of State Anthony BlinkenToday, Sunday, in Beijing, to become the most senior US official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

Qin Gang, Chinese Foreign Minister, received distinguished American visitor, And his entourage at the door of a villa in the courtyard of the Diaoyutai Guest House in Beijing, where the two had a brief conversation in English before shaking hands in front of the Chinese and American flags.

After heading into the conference room, neither Blinken nor Chen made any statements to reporters, who were briefly allowed in.

“I hope this meeting will contribute to restoring China-US relations to the track agreed upon by the two presidents in Bali,” Hua Chunying, China’s assistant foreign minister, who was attending the meeting, wrote on Twitter above a photo of Chen shaking hands with Blinken.

During his visit, which ends on Monday, Blinken is also expected to meet China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping.

flirt from afar

While Biden tried to soften the atmosphere, flirting with his Chinese counterpart. He told reporters earlier today about the spy balloon incident that he did not believe that the Chinese leadership knew much about the location of the balloon or what it had done.

He also hoped to meet Xi soon. “I hope to meet with Xi again and talk about the legitimate differences we have and also go over how there are areas where we can get along,” he said.

On the other hand, US officials played down expectations of significant progress during the visit, especially since Blinken’s main goal would be to hold “frank, direct and constructive” discussions in an attempt to establish open and permanent channels of communication to ensure that the strategic rivalry between the two countries does not turn into a conflict, according to Reuters.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Although, some observers expected the visit to pave the way for more meetings between the two countries in the coming months, including possible visits by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

It could also set the stage for meetings between Xi and Biden at multilateral summits later in the year.

It is noteworthy that Biden and Xi held their first face-to-face meeting after the long-awaited on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali last November (2022), and they spoke frankly about files, including Taiwan and North Korea. They also pledged to make more contacts.

The meeting of the two leaders on the Indonesian island of Bali at the time briefly calmed fears of a new Cold War, but high-level contact became rare in the wake of the balloon flight over the United States, which escalated tensions.

risk of miscalculation

In addition, relations between the two countries deteriorated in various fields, which raised fears that they might clash militarily one day over the island of Taiwan, which China says belongs to it.

Disagreements over trade and Washington’s efforts to rein in China’s semiconductor industry have also complicated the record
Recent in the field of human rights, from the restoration of relations.

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