TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Krittenbrinker said on Wednesday (June 14) that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will reiterate U.S. support for peace in the Taiwan Strait region during his visit to China.
Blinken will pay a two-day visit to China from July 18 to 19.
“I think you can expect the Secretary of State to reaffirm America’s enduring interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Krittenbrink said at a special State Department briefing. He added that the Taiwan Strait issue “has always been one of the most important, challenging and sensitive issues between the United States and China.”
Krittenbrink said that this is Blinken’s first visit to China as Secretary of State, and also the first visit by a Secretary of State since 2018. During his visit, Blinken will hold a series of meetings with senior Chinese officials in Beijing.
Krittenbrink said the trip had three overall goals. First, Blinken intends to establish open lines of communication to “discuss important challenges, eliminate misunderstandings, and prevent miscalculations.”
Second, the Secretary of State will defend U.S. values and interests, raise concerns, and discuss regional and global security challenges. Third, the Secretary of State will seek potential cooperation in areas such as climate and the economy, as well as increased exchanges between the two peoples.
“Our primary focus is to have frank, direct and constructive discussions on all three fronts,” the assistant secretary of state said.
Indo-Pacific coordinator Campbell said that when it comes to engagement with China, the US aims to “manage competition” and cooperate as much as possible while maintaining clear communication.
Campbell pointed out that in the past two years, the number of countries and organizations that expressed their support for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait has increased. He said: “This is a significant development and a very clear expression of global concern on this set of issues. I think the United States seeks a clear, bipartisan, unwavering determination to maintain peace and stability…”
Blinken’s trip comes at a time when U.S.-China relations are at an all-time low. Last month, CIA Director William Burns traveled to China to meet with his counterparts and open up communications channels for intelligence channels.
On May 23, Xie Feng, the newly appointed ambassador to the United States, stated that China hopes to “strengthen dialogue, manage and control differences, and expand cooperation with the United States to bring the relationship between the two countries back on track.” According to CNN reports.
Xie said he hoped to improve bilateral relations amid “severe difficulties and challenges”.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense is gearing up to hold its annual Han Kuang exercise from July 24 to 28 next month. On Tuesday (June 13), it also released its latest civil defense manual, which includes instructions on how to make an emergency evacuation kit in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.