Blinkin lands in Beijing.. 4 things to watch!

With the arrival of the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken To Beijing, today, Sunday, on a visit that is the first by a US Secretary of State to China since October 2018, when his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, landed in Beijing before later adopting a strategy of sharp confrontation. Attention is drawn to several indicators.

Although it is not expected, of course, that the entire differences between the two major economic powers in the world will be resolved, there are several things that must be monitored.

One of those indicators is how China will receive the American visitor.

The level and manner of Blinken’s reception will provide hints about China’s readiness for a meeting at the highest levels with the guest, meaning the possibility that Chinese President Xi Jinping will receive the Western visitor, according to Bloomberg.

Lower expectations

However, the US administration was anticipating any possible disappointment, lowering its expectations, as Kurt Campbell, the chief Asia official in the White House, made it clear that visiting Beijing is not with the intention of achieving some kind of breakthrough or transformation in the way the two parties deal with each other.

Especially since there are more than 12 major issues or contentious files between them, including Ukraine, Taiwan, the South China Sea and others.

Blinken in Beijing (Reuters)

Relationship stability

This means that Blinken’s goal is currently limited to trying to stabilize relations between the two countries and make them less volatile, especially since the consequences of their instability are dire for the global economy.

Note that that visit was supposed to take place last February, and at that time it would have benefited more from the glow of the meeting that brought together for the first time the leaders of the two countries (Joe Biden and Xi Jinping) in late 2022.

Since then, relations have soured over a series of quarrels and accusations.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing is the two serious military frictions that took place recently, one over the South China Sea, and the other in the Taiwan Strait.

Improve communication

Therefore, it is expected that Blinken will stress the importance of this stability in relations between the two countries, and he may suggest, as a first step, restoring lines of communication only, especially with regard to military issues.

Note that the two most powerful countries in the world have very few direct ways of speaking and communicating, and the most dangerous thing is that they lack a military line dedicated to calming any possible incidents.

Recently, Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu declined a request to meet with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin.

Washington is testing Beijing’s intentions

Taiwan technology

As for Taiwan, it remains the most sensitive file in relations between the United States and China, but Blinken will convey the message that the Biden administration is not trying to destabilize the status quo.

But he will undoubtedly condemn China’s economic coercion and military pressure on Taiwan, which has increased in recent years.

Therefore, it is not expected to achieve any penetration in this file.

In addition, the two sides are also likely to talk about US efforts to thwart Beijing’s technological ambitions, especially the restrictions imposed on the sale of Chinese equipment to make advanced semiconductors.

It is noteworthy that the Biden administration had taken the same hard line that the administration of former President Donald Trump applied towards China, and even went further in some areas, including by imposing export controls with the aim of limiting Beijing’s purchase and manufacture of advanced chips “used in applications.” military.”

Blinken in Beijing (Reuters)

Blinken in Beijing (Reuters)

But Washington is currently aiming to cooperate with Beijing on several issues.

For Danny Russell, a former senior State Department official, “everyone has an interest in this visit. China hopes to avoid new US restrictions on technology and any new support for Taiwan.”

The United States, for its part, wants to prevent any incident that could lead to a military confrontation.

It remains certain that Blinken’s short visit will not solve any of the major problems in relations between the two countries, nor will it prevent either side from pursuing their competitive agenda.

But it “may revive much-needed direct dialogue and signal that the two countries are moving from rhetoric of anger in front of the media to more sober talks behind closed doors,” Russell said.

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