Anthony Blinken sees tensions between the US and China easing

(Chicago) U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Friday signaled a decline in tensions with China, while raising renewed concerns about Taiwan.

During an exchange at the University of Chicago to find out if the temperature has dropped with the Asian giant, he replied: “I think so, because when you discuss, when you engage, it has this effect”.

“The rest of the world expects us to handle this relationship responsibly,” he continued, adding that other countries “know it affects them as well.”

On February 5 and 6, Mr. Blinken will make the visit, a US official said, the first such trip to China since Republican front-runner Mike Pompeo’s in 2018.

The trip was decided on the sidelines of a November summit in Indonesia between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

But Mr. Blinken, meanwhile, was concerned about Taiwan, citing Beijing’s efforts to isolate the island — considered part of its territory by Chinese officials — and continued military maneuvers.

“I believe what we’ve seen over the last few years is that China has decided it’s no longer comfortable with that island,” he said.

“This is what we say to the Chinese: you say it’s a question of your sovereignty, and we answer you that it directly concerns the United States and the rest of the world,” citing Taiwan’s key role in the global economy in semiconductor manufacturing.

Mr. Blinken traveled to Chicago (North) on Friday, where he met with members of the Ukrainian community.

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