Blinken travels to China to seek ‘avoid miscalculation’

Blinken travels to China to seek ‘avoid miscalculation’

Detour Wanted:
U.S. envoy calls on Blinken to stop in Taiwan to “send a clear message” that the U.S. doesn’t need permission from Beijing to visit

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Friday that his visit to China today was aimed at opening up better communication “by eliminating misunderstanding and avoiding miscalculation,” as U.S. lawmakers urged him to also visit Taiwan.

“Strong competition requires sustained diplomacy to ensure that competition does not devolve into confrontation or conflict,” Blinken said. “That’s what the world expects from the United States and China.”

Blinken will be in Beijing today and tomorrow for talks, the first foreign trip by a top U.S. diplomat in nearly five years.

Photo: AFP

Blinken’s planned February visit to Beijing was rescheduled after the U.S. canceled a planned visit to Beijing in February after Washington said it detected and subsequently shot down a Chinese spy balloon.

Blinken told a news conference that the overarching goal of the China trip was to “establish open and robust communication so that our two countries can manage our relationship responsibly.”

He said the move was also aimed at clarifying U.S. interests and values ​​and exploring possible areas of cooperation, including global economic stability, combating drug smuggling and climate and health issues.

He added that he would also raise the issue of U.S. citizens being detained in China.

Blinken was speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Singaporean foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Balakrishnan said that the Asian region is concerned about US-China relations, calling it the “challenge of the century”.

“This is a very important and critical moment, not just for the United States and China,” he said.

“The rest of the world will be watching. So we hope and believe that you will be able to deal with your differences,” he said.

On Thursday, a group of U.S. representatives called on Blinken to stop in Taiwan during his trip to China.

The lawmakers said in a letter that the visit would be consistent with the original intent of the Taiwan Travel Act, which “encourages senior U.S. executive branch officials to visit Taiwan and meet with their counterparts.”

Such a visit would also allow Blinken to address concerns about delays in the delivery of U.S. weapons systems to Taiwan.

“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it would send a clear message that the United States does not need permission from the Chinese Communist Party to meet with our friends and allies in Taiwan or anywhere else,” the letter said.

The letter was written by U.S. Representatives Tom Tiffany, Scott Perry, Nancy Mays, Byron Donalds, Dan Crenshaw, Andy Ogles and Earl Carter sign.

Supplemental Report by Staff Writer

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