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Xi hails ‘progress’ in China-US ties on ‘specific issues’ at meeting with Blinken across long table

China’s President Xi Jinping has met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing – as the world’s two biggest economies look to cool rising tensions.

Speaking after the 30-minute meeting on Monday, Mr Xi said he hoped Mr Blinken would make “more positive contributions” to “stabilising” ties between Washington and Beijing, state media reported.

Mr Xi also said the two countries had made “progress and reached agreement” on “some specific issues”.

The Chinese leader spoke to Mr Blinken while sat at the head of a long conference table in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.


Mr Blinken, meanwhile, said the two countries agreed the need to stabilise their relationship and that the US would work with China in areas of mutual interest – such as food safety.

He also reiterated Washington’s long-standing “One China” policy – in which the US maintains official relations with Beijing and “robustly informal” ones with Taiwan.

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China and US meet to ease tensions

However, Mr Blinken said that he raised Washington’s “concerns” with Mr Xi about China’s “provocative” actions in the Taiwan strait.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool

It comes after Mr Blinken – who is in China for his second day of meetings – met China’s top diplomat earlier on Monday and foreign minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

He is the first US secretary of state to visit China in five years, and also the highest-level US official to visit China since Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

The visit had been postponed from earlier in the year following the spy balloon saga, when a suspected Chinese surveillance device flew over US airspace for several days before being shot down.

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Mr Blinken’s visit is expected to usher in a new round of visits by senior US and Chinese officials – possibly including a meeting between Mr Xi and Mr Biden in the coming months.

In earlier “positive” meetings between Mr Blinken and senior Chinese officials, the two sides expressed willingness to talk.

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Explained: Blinken’s visit to Beijing

However, they showed little inclination to bend on hardened positions such as Taiwan – the self-governing island that Beijing claims as its own territory.

They are also at odds over issues ranging from trade, US efforts to hold back China’s semiconductor industry, and the ruling Communist Party’s human rights track record.

Read more:
Five key talking points at US-China talks
Bill Gates visit signals Beijing is open to a thaw in relations with US

On Sunday, Mr Blinken “emphasised the importance of diplomacy and maintaining open channels of communication” during his meeting with Mr Qin, according to a statement by the US State Department.

Regular talks would “reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation”, the department added.

China’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement Mr Blinken’s visit “coincides with a critical juncture in China-US” relations.

It also blamed the US’s “erroneous perception” of China for the current “low point” in relations and called for the US to lift unilateral sanctions and the suppression of its technology.


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