Thursday, May 30, 2024

The blink in Beijing – the stage for tough talks with Chinese leaders

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Foreign Minister Antony Blinken is welcomed by Yang Tao (former number two), who heads the department for North America and Oceania in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 25.04.2024 15:52:53

Economy and business: After landing in Beijing on Thursday, he went straight into a closed-door meeting with some of China’s top academics, while insisting that China and the US should handle disagreements in a “responsible way”.

A number of controversial topics are expected to be discussed when Blinken is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese leaders on Friday, possibly also Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Among the hardest nuts is US concern about Chinese exports of products finding their way into Russia’s arms industry and undermining Western sanctions.

He also visited the office of the Communist Party leader in Shanghai. Here, Blinken emphasized that President Joe Biden wants to maintain a direct dialogue between the world’s two largest economies after several years of heightened tensions.

– President Biden and President Xi are determined to strengthen the connections between our peoples, said Blinken.

Chinese authorities have repeatedly accused US authorities of aggressively interrogating and deporting Chinese nationals who have traveled to the US with valid visas.

Blinken is the first foreign minister to visit Shanghai in 14 years, but he was in Beijing as recently as last June when, among other things, he had talks with Xi Jinping.

Blinken’s three-day visit to China started on Wednesday with a charm offensive in the financial metropolis of Shanghai, where he watched a basketball game, strolled down one of the city’s most famous streets, The Bund, and ate local food at a restaurant.

In Shanghai, he also met students and American business people. He said he hopes that more Americans will study in China and promised that Chinese students are welcome in the United States.

(© NTB)

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