Sunday, May 19, 2024

Blinken to meet businesses in Shanghai as he kicks off a tough China trip

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In addition to business leaders, Blinken will also meet with local officials and students before heading to Beijing for talks on Friday with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and a likely meeting with President Xi Jinping.

Blinken also attended a basketball game and dined at a steamed bun restaurant Wednesday night with US Ambassador Nicholas Burns, underscoring the importance to the US of rebuilding personal connections with the Chinese people.

“Face-to-face diplomacy matters,” said Blinken in the short clip posted to X. “It is important for avoiding miscommunications and misperceptions, and to advance the interests of the American people.”

Blinken will press China to stop its firms from retooling and resupplying Russia’s defence industrial base. Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022, just days after agreeing a “no limits” partnership with Beijing, and while China has steered clear of providing arms, US officials warn Chinese companies are sending dual-use technology that helps Russia’s war effort.

A Chinese foreign ministry official quoted by state news agency Xinhua earlier this week said relations “have shown a trend of stopping decline and stabilising”, since Biden and Xi met in San Francisco in November.

But the officials criticised what they called Washington’s “stubborn strategy of containing China, and its erroneous words and deeds of interfering in China’s internal affairs, tarnishing China’s image and undermining China’s interests”.

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