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Blinken (finally) goes to Beijing

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) during a meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) during a meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

This weekend, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make his long-delayed trip to Beijing amid, let’s say, interesting times in US-China ties. (Yes, this is the trip that Blinken postponed over that Chinese spy balloon, but we'll spare you the puns.)

What's on the agenda? A lot, to put it mildly. Apart from the usual stuff — economic decoupling, trade, Taiwan, and Russia's war in Ukraine — expect Blinken to also ask Xi Jinping about China's reported electronic spy base in Cuba and recent trolling of US aircraft and warships in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.


Meanwhile, Xi wants to secure from Blinken an in-person invite to catch up with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco in November — a year since the two had their last huddle at the G-20 in Bali and more than 6 years since Xi’s last US visit, at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump.

Don't expect Blinken and Xi to make much progress on any issue where Washington and Beijing are at odds. But in such an increasingly tense bilateral relationship between two rival powers with serious comms problems, perhaps the best we can hope for is that they keep talking to each other.

GZEROMEDIA

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