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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

Blinken (finally) goes to Beijing

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.

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Backlash from Macron's China visit
Backlash from Macron's China visit | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Backlash from Macron's China visit

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Happy Monday. It's Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off our week. And I want to talk a little bit about French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in the news again this week and not for demonstrations at home. Not for trying to change the pension age from 62 to 64, I mean that and the backlash has been dominating international coverage of the French president for weeks now. But this time around, it's what he's saying on the international stage.

Specifically, Macron has just completed a trip to China with Ursula von der Leyen and brought a whole bunch of business leaders with him. Nothing shocking about that. Olaf Scholz did the same a few months ago when he went to Beijing. Was talking about Xi Jinping playing more of a role on the Russia, Ukraine crisis. There, that is a bit different than what we've seen from other leaders. It was in the G-20 in Bali when Macron went off-piste and basically said, "Hey, we'd love to have Xi Jinping engaged directly in leading diplomacy, responding to the Russian invasion." The Americans were skeptical, a number of other Western leaders a little concerned that Macron had made those statements without talking to them about it but didn't really go anywhere.

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