skip to Main Content

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken Visits China Aiming to Stabilize Tensions

Washington Post writers John Hudson and Lily Kuo reported in Sunday’s paper that, “Antony Blinken became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit China in five years as he arrived in the country Sunday for two days of high-stakes meetings aimed at stabilizing a relationship under historic stress.

“After more than 7½ hours of talks between Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, the two sides agreed to schedule a visit to Washington by Qin and to maintain high-level exchanges — a modest sign of progress after months of a diplomatic freeze.

“U.S. officials also agreed to hold ‘working-level’ meetings to address specific challenges, said senior State Department officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions.”

2022 United States Agricultural Export Yearbook. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service (May 2, 2023).

Writing in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, Tracy Wilkinson and Stephanie Yang reported that, “Blinken is making a trip that was scrubbed in early February after the Biden administration detected — and ultimately shot down — what it described as a Chinese spy balloon flying over U.S. territory.”

“Record U.S. FY 2022 Agricultural Exports to China,” by Graham Soley. International Agricultural Trade Report. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service (January 6, 2023).

The U.S. state department said on Monday that, “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken held candid, substantive, and constructive talks today with People’s Republic of China (PRC) State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing. The Secretary emphasized the importance of diplomacy and maintaining open channels of communication across the full range of issues to reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation. The Secretary raised a number of issues of concern, as well as opportunities to explore cooperation on shared transnational issues with the PRC where our interests align. The Secretary made clear that the United States will always stand up for the interests and values of the American people and work with its allies and partners to advance our vision for a world that is free, open, and upholds the international rules-based order.”

Elsewhere, Wall Street Journal writers William Mauldin and Keith Zhai reported on Monday that, “Chinese leader Xi Jinping met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing as the Biden administration seeks to restore high-level engagement and prevent misunderstanding between the two countries.

“Xi and Blinken met for 35 minutes at the Great Hall of the People, a State Department official said.”

“Record U.S. FY 2022 Agricultural Exports to China,” by Graham Soley. International Agricultural Trade Report. USDA- Foreign Agricultural Service (January 6, 2023).

The Journal article noted that, “Blinken arrived Sunday in Beijing and spent 7½ hours with Foreign Minister Qin Gang at meetings and a dinner, followed by three hours with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on Monday. Aides to Blinken described the meetings as direct and candid but also more productive than recent tense encounters.”

Also Monday, Financial Times writers Joe Leahy and Demetri Sevastopulo reported that, “The US and China have made ‘progress’ in stabilising plunging bilateral relations, Xi Jinping declared on Monday as the Chinese president held a long-delayed meeting with US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

Xi’s comments represent the strongest signal yet that Beijing is willing to consider a truce in its increasingly acrimonious relationship with Washington.

New York Times writers Edward Wong and David Pierson reported on Monday that, “Over the two days of meetings, diplomats did not voice any hope for sudden or dramatic breakthroughs in repairing the relationship. Instead, they focused on trying to rebuild channels of communication that had crumbled in recent months and on bolstering negotiations on smaller issues, such as visas and commercial flights between the two countries.”

And Bloomberg writer Iain Marlow reported on Monday that, “Henry Wang, founder of the Center for China and Globalization, said Blinken’s visit would be a catalyst for more bilateral interactions between the two nations. US President Joe Biden said Saturday he’s ‘hoping that over the next several months I’ll be meeting Xi again.‘”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Back To Top