Washington DC [US], June 14 (TN): United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is all set to travel to China and the United Kingdom from June 16-21, the Department of State said in a statement.
During his visit to China, Blinken will meet with senior PRC officials where he will discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the US-PRC relationship.
It is pertinent to mention that earlier, he was scheduled to visit China in February 2023, but it was postponed after a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the United States sparked indignation from the Biden administration.
During Blinken’s visit, he will also raise bilateral issues of concern, global and regional matters, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges, according to the statement.
Earlier today, Blinken had a phone call with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang where the latter urged the United States to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. In a phone call to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington should respect Beijing’s position on Taiwan, reported Xinhua News Agency.
Earlier, when asked about Blinken’s planned travel to China, State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said, “We have no travel for the Secretary to announce; as we’ve said previously the visit to the People’s Republic of China will be rescheduled when conditions allow.”
The news of the planned rescheduled trip comes after American and Chinese officials had “candid” and “productive” discussions in Beijing on Monday, according to readouts from both nations.
Blinken’s original trip was intended to follow up on the meeting between the two leaders. The decision to postpone it was made after high-level conversations between Blinken, Biden and other top national security officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
At the time, Blinken said the balloon incident “created the conditions that undermine the purpose of the trip” but said he would visit Beijing “when conditions allow.”
After China, Blinken will visit London where the Secretary will attend the Ukraine Recovery Conference to help mobilize international support from the public and private sector to help Ukraine recover from Russia’s brutal and ongoing attacks. While there, he will also meet with counterparts from the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and other partners and allies, as per the statement. (TN)