US Secretary of State visits China to start the diplomatic thaw

AA / Washington / Dilara Afıfı

Washington announced Wednesday that its top diplomat, Anthony Blinken, will travel to China this weekend as part of a visit, the second by a US secretary of state to Beijing in nearly 5 years, to kick off the diplomatic thaw.

And the US State Department said in a statement that its chief official, Anthony Blinken, is visiting China and the United Kingdom, as part of a tour that begins on June 16 and continues until the twenty-first of the same month.

According to the statement, Blinken is expected to participate in an international conference on Ukraine’s recovery in the British capital, London, on Friday, aimed at mobilizing international support from the public and private sectors to help Kiev recover from the crisis. Russian aggression, before going to Beijing.

During his visit to London, Blinken is expected to meet his British and Ukrainian counterparts, as well as other partners and allies.

In China, the US Secretary of State is expected to meet with senior Chinese officials and discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between Beijing and Washington in order to responsibly manage Sino-US relations.

The US diplomat added: “Blinken will also discuss global, regional and bilateral issues of common interest, as well as potential cooperation on common transnational challenges.”

The US State Department statement comes hours after a phone call between Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Chen Gang, which Beijing said was held at Washington’s request.

Earlier Wednesday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed in a press conference “the importance of working to prevent the deterioration of relations between Beijing and Washington.”

The visit of the top US diplomatic official was postponed in February after a Chinese “spy” balloon intruded into US airspace.

* Translated from Arabic by Magdy Ismail

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