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Blinken travels to China

As of: 06/14/2023 4:04 p.m

There is a political ice age between the USA and China. In February, US Secretary of State Blinken canceled a planned visit to Beijing over a dispute over a suspected spy balloon. Now he wants to make up for the trip.

After serious diplomatic disagreements between Washington and Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to China at the end of the week. The State Department in Washington announced that Blinken will leave for Beijing on Friday. In the past few days there had already been unconfirmed media reports about an upcoming visit, which the ministry had initially not commented on. Blinken is making up for a long-planned trip that he canceled at the last minute in early February due to allegations of espionage against China.

During his visit to Beijing, Blinken will meet with senior officials from the Chinese government, the US State Department said. Among other things, it is about maintaining open channels of communication between the two countries in order to shape relations responsibly. Blinken will also address bilateral concerns, global and regional issues, and possible areas of cooperation. Shortly before, Blinken had called his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang.

China: Respect key issues such as the Taiwan question

China’s Foreign Ministry said Qin urged the US to respect core Chinese issues such as the Taiwan issue. The US should stop interfering in internal affairs and damage China’s sovereignty, security and development interests in the name of competition, the ministry wrote in Beijing.

Qin noted that China-US relations have faced new difficulties and challenges since the beginning of the year. Both sides must work together to overcome differences, promote exchanges and cooperation, and stabilize relations.

The list of issues is long

Relations between the US and China are generally strained over a whole list of issues. President Joe Biden’s government sees China as the greatest geopolitical challenge and is taking a tough stance on Beijing. At the beginning of February, a dispute over alleged Chinese spying operations had further strained the relationship. The US military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the American coast.

The United States accused China of using it to spy on military facilities. Beijing, on the other hand, spoke of a civilian research balloon that had gone off course and complained that the Americans had completely overreacted. The United States followed suit and accused China of running a large international espionage program, which Beijing also rejected.

incident over southern chinese sea

A few days ago, an incident involving military aircraft from both countries over the South China Sea sparked new discussions. The US government accused China of an “unnecessarily aggressive” interception. Shortly thereafter, the US reported an incident between two ships in the Taiwan Strait. The US government has repeatedly emphasized that such incidents could lead to misunderstandings and misjudgments – it is therefore extremely important to keep the communication channels between Washington and Beijing and also between the military of both countries open.

Shortly before Blinken’s travel announcement, new allegations of China’s attempts to spy on the United States became public. Blinken said a few days ago that China has been using the island of Cuba, which is close to the United States, for some time to collect intelligence information. He was responding to reports by the Wall Street Journal.

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