Antony Blinken will travel to China in February with the intention of relaxing the tension between the two countries
The head of US diplomacy will visit Beijing on the 5th and 6th of next month. The agenda has not been specified, but it is expected that he will meet with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, to discuss diplomatic and economic issues
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Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
US chief of diplomacy Antony Blinken will visit China on February 5-6 , despite concerns about the wave of covid-19 in the Asian country, in order to mitigate the tension between the two countries.
The Casa Blanca announced this visit in November but without a date. Blinken will finally arrive in Beijing on the 5th, a US official confirmed on Tuesday, requesting anonymity.
The objective of the trip, the first of this level since that of his Republican predecessor Mike Pompeo in 2018, is to ease diplomatic and economic tensions with the main adversary of United States, added the official.
The agenda has not been specified, but he is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, former ambassador to Washington.
On Tuesday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin praised Blinken's visit at a press conference and specified that both countries are finalizing “the details” of it.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, REUTERS/Carlos García Rawlins
Relations between China and the United States are based “on the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation”, he added, and said that he hopes that both countries will return to “a healthy and stable relationship”.
For now, there are plenty of controversial issues between the two superpowers, such as the situation of Taiwan, the attitudes of North Korea, Beijing's plans in the South China Sea or the shortage of semiconductors for the industry.
In December, the head of US diplomacy declared that will ask China to pressure North Korea to participate in negotiations at a time when Pyongyang increases ballistic missile tests, something that worries South Korea and Japan. b>
Tensions were exacerbated last August when then-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan, an autonomous island that Beijing considers a rogue province and under its sovereignty.
The anger led China to launch large-scale military exercises.
Last week, Blinken said one of the goals of the trip is to keep channels open of communication with China.
“What we don't want is for a misunderstanding to turn into a conflict,” said the head of diplomacy, a supporter of “responsible management of this relationship” and of possible areas of agreement such as the fight against climate change.
A high-level US delegation visited Beijing last month to prepare for the trip.
In addition, top economic officials from the two countries, Secretary US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will meet in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday.< /p>
Over the past three years, the rivalry between the two countries has intensified as China has gained global power.
< b>Washington announced updated export control rules, a move aimed at making it more difficult for China to make and buy semiconductors.
( With information from AFP)