US secretary of state lands in China on crucial visit

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday on a three-day crucial visit, Chinese state media reported.

Blinken will meet top Chinese officials, including his counterpart Wang Li, to discuss a set of thorny issues between the two world’s largest economies, mainly its support for Russia, cheap Chinese exports that Washington says threaten American jobs, and escalating tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

His visit coincides with passing of a bill by the US Senate, which President Joe Biden is expected to quickly sign into law, that provides $8 billion to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region, and could also lead to a nationwide ban on the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

“The Secretary will meet with senior PRC (People’s Republic of China) officials in Shanghai and Beijing to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including the crisis in the Middle East, Russia’s war against Ukraine, cross-Strait issues, and the South China Sea," according to a State Department statement.

"The Secretary will also discuss ongoing work to fulfill the commitments made by Presidents Biden and Xi at the Woodside Summit in November on resuming counternarcotic cooperation, military-to-military communication, artificial intelligence, and strengthening people-to-people ties, and will reiterate the importance of the United States and the PRC responsibly managing competition, even in areas where our two countries disagree."

It is not clear whether he will meet President Xi Jinping, as he did during his last visit, in June 2023.

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