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regular-article-logo Friday, 23 February 2024

China-US ties 'on right trail' after top democrat Blinken's trip, says Joe Biden

During Blinken's visit, the US and China agreed to stabilize their relations and maintain communication lines open to avoid an all-out conflict between the two nations

Deutsche Welle Published 20.06.23, 11:50 AM
Joe Biden

Joe Biden File picture

US President Joe Biden suggested that the top diplomat's rare visit to Beijing has led to progress amid soured relations with China.

The United States and China are on the "right trail" after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Beijing, US President Joe Biden said on Monday.

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"We're on the right trail here," Biden told reporters after a climate event in California, adding that Blinken had made progress on his two-day trip which concluded on Monday.

Blinken did "a hell of a job," Biden added, touting the efforts of his top diplomat.

During Blinken's visit, the US and China agreed to stabilize their relations and maintain communication lines open to avoid an all-out conflict between the two nations.

Souring US-Sino ties

Relations between Washington and Beijing had reached an all-time low due to growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait. An intensifying rivalry in the semiconductor industry, an incident where the US shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon and disagreements on Russia's war in Ukraine have also contributed to the soured relations.

Blinken is the highest-ranking US official to have visited the Chinese capital in five years. He met with China's president, Xi Jinping, and other senior officials.

In his meeting with Xi, Blinken touched upon all key contentious issues between China and the US.

"We have made progress and we are moving forward," Blinken told reporters in Beijing, but acknowleged that: "None of this gets resolved with one visit."

Active talks on release of three Americans

Washington and Beijing are also discussing the release of three US citizens detained in China, Blinken said later in an interview with US broadcaster CBS News.

"I don't want to get into the details, but we are very actively talking about that," he said.

The three Americans are David Lin, a pastor that has been imprisoned in China since 2006; Kai Li, who was given a 10-year sentence in 2018 for spying charges; and Mark Swidan, a Texas businessman convicted by a Chinese court in 2019. The US claims all three were wrongfully convicted.

"It (their release) would, regardless of anything else be a very important and positive development and we're working intensely," Blinken said.

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