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Blinken, Qin hold ‘candid’ talks, agree to meet again

18 Jun 2023 - 22:12
18 Jun 2023 - 22:12

KABUL (Pajhwok): As the first US secretary of state to visit China in five years, Antony Blinken held “candid, substantive and constructive talks” with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing and the two agreed to meet again in Washington.

Blinken stressed the importance of keeping open lines of communication to reduce the risk of miscalculation in talks with the Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang, a State Department spokesman said.

Before the talks, US officials saw little chance of any breakthrough on the long list of disputes between the world’s two largest economies, which range from trade and US efforts to hold back China’s semiconductor industry to the status of self-governed Taiwan and Beijing’s human rights record.

“The secretary emphasized the importance of diplomacy and maintaining open channels of communication across the full range of issues to reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

“The secretary raised a number of issues of concern, as well as opportunities to explore cooperation on shared transnational issues with the PRC where our interests align,” Miller added in a statement.

He said Blinken invited Qin to visit Washington “to continue the discussions, and they agreed to schedule a reciprocal visit at a mutually suitable time.”

Blinken, who postponed a February China trip after a suspected Chinese spy balloon flew over US airspace, is the highest-ranking US government official to visit since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

During his stay through Monday, Blinken is also expected to meet with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping.

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