Antony Blinken meets Chinese President Xi Jinping
US officials hope Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China will lower tensions with Beijing. In what was seen as a special gesture, announced at the last minute, the top US diplomat met China’s head of state.
Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for talks in Beijing on Monday, the culmination of two days of high-level talks with Chinese officials.
The trip marks the highest-level visit by a US official to China in nearly five years, at a time when relations between the world’s two largest economies have entered choppy waters.
What we know about the meeting
Xi told Blinken he hoped the visit would help smooth relations.
“The two sides have had candid and in-depth discussions,” Xi said at the start of the meeting in comments broadcast on
Chinese state television.
“I hope that through this visit, Mr. Secretary, you will make more positive contributions to stabilizing China-US relations,” Xi added, addressing Blinken.
“State-to-state interaction should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity,” Xi said.
A Blinken-Xi meeting had been on the cards, but neither side had confirmed it would happen until about an hour before the talks. The US State Secretary’s pending discussion with the Chinese leader is seen as key to the success of the trip.
A snub here would have been a setback to the effort restore talks at senior levels.
Blinken had earlier held talks with Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday, the second and final day of his visit to China.
At the meeting with Wang, which lasted for around three hours, the Chinese diplomat told Blinken that the root cause of the worsening relations was Washington’s incorrect perception of China.
“We must take a responsible attitude toward the people, history and the world, and reverse the downward spiral of US-China relations,” Wang said, according to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.