Blinken reschedules postponed Beijing visit for June 18


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next week, rescheduling a visit that was canceled in February after a saga over a suspected surveillance balloon.

Blinken is expected to arrive in Beijing on June 18, the first trip by a top U.S. diplomat to China since his predecessor Mike Pompeo in October 2018, U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity.

Although the State Department has not officially announced his travel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently said the United States would announce travel “in the near future” without giving details.

Tensions have risen sharply between the world’s two largest economies in recent years, especially over Taiwan, the self-governing democracy that Beijing claims and has not ruled out seizing by force.

In early February, Blinken had abruptly canceled a trip scheduled after the United States said it detected and later shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the U.S. mainland, drawing fury from U.S. lawmakers and denials by Beijing.

However, the two sides have more recently looked again to keep tensions in check including with an extensive, closed-door meeting between Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Vienna last month.


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