China and the U.S. have been engaged in tit-for-tat accusations since February when Washington shot down a Chinese spy balloon over U.S. territory. In an effort to reset diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be traveling to China in the upcoming weeks, although a specific date for the visit has not yet been released.
Blinken's visit was originally scheduled for February but the aforementioned spy balloon incident abruptly canceled the Secretary's trip. While multiple news agencies have reported on Blinken's upcoming visit to Beijing, the State Department is not confirming the reports saying only, "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 Biden administration has been working to salvage disintegrating diplomatic relations with Beijing with the State Department announcing earlier that "candid" and "productive" meetings had been taking place between U.S. officials and their Chinese counterparts on Monday in Beijing, ZeroHedge reported.
Daniel Kritenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, NSC Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs Sarah Beran, and U.S. Ambassador to Cina Nicholas Burns met with Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Executive Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Director General of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Department Yang Tao in Beijing.
According to an official readout regarding the meeting, "The two sides exchanged views on the bilateral relationship, cross-Strait issues, channels of communication, and other matters. U.S. officials made clear that the United States would compete vigorously and stand up for U.S. interests and values."
Meanwhile, over the weekend Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that potential clashes with Washington and Beijing would be an "unbearable disaster for the world."
Li added that both countries should be able to grow together while avoiding conflict. The Defense Minister's comments came days after the U.S. exchanged harsh words with China after a Chinese warship passed 150 yards in front of the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, which was conducting a 'freedom of navigation' transit in the Taiwan Strait Saturday. The destroyer was forced to engage in evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision with the Chinese warship.
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