December 3, 2023

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China’s Wang Yi makes a rare visit to the United States as the two countries try to repair relations Politics news

China’s Wang Yi makes a rare visit to the United States as the two countries try to repair relations  Politics news

The visit comes amid the war between Israel and Hamas and rising tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel to the United States later this week as part of ongoing efforts to mend strained relations between the two countries amid growing geopolitical crises.

Wang will visit Washington from October 26-28 and meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan, after Blinken and other senior officials traveled to Beijing in June, officials said.

The United States is keen to ensure that differences between Washington and Beijing do not turn into conflict, and that they are able to work together on issues of common concern. Other US politicians have traveled to China since Blinken’s visit, as California Governor Gavin Newsom is currently in the country to discuss climate change.

“We continue to believe that direct, face-to-face diplomacy is the best way to raise difficult issues, address misperceptions and miscommunications, and explore working with the Chinese where our interests intersect,” said one of the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. Reuters News Agency.

The meetings are likely to cover a range of issues, including the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Ukrainian war and rising tensions in the South China Sea, senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press news agency.

Washington sends military aid to Israel and Ukraine, while Beijing has approached Russia since the start of the Ukrainian war in February 2022, and called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

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A second official said the United States “will push the Chinese to take a more constructive approach on both matters.”

Hopes for meeting Xi Biden

Wang made phone calls with the foreign ministers of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Monday and expressed his sadness over the suffering of civilians as a result of the conflict. He reiterated China’s calls for a ceasefire and support for the two-state solution.

Washington has attached importance to China’s ability to influence Iran.

During his quick trip last week to the Middle East, Blinken made a phone call with Wang asking him to use Beijing’s influence in the region to ensure that the conflict does not expand.

Wang’s visit comes about three weeks before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, where there are expectations that President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping may meet.

US officials did not confirm the leaders’ meeting, nor did they say whether Wang’s visit would pave the way for such a meeting. Instead, Wang’s trip was described as reciprocal with Blinken’s visit to Beijing.

Beijing has not yet confirmed whether Xi will travel to San Francisco to attend the annual APEC summit.

Relations between the United States and China have deteriorated since 2018 over issues such as trade, the situation in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the militarization of the South China Sea, increasing pressure on the self-governing island of Taiwan, and the origins of COVID-19. .

Biden and Xi last met in November 2022 on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Indonesia. At that time, they agreed to resume talks, form working groups on specific issues and expand personal exchanges.

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US officials said territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas were likely to be on the agenda, saying Washington was deeply concerned about China’s “dangerous and destabilizing actions” in the South China Sea.

The Philippines, a major US ally, this week accused Chinese coast guard vessels of “intentionally” colliding with its vessels on a resupply mission at Second Thomas Shoal, in the most serious incident this year. Beijing claims the shoal as its territory even though it lies within Manila’s exclusive economic zone.

Re-establishing military ties with China also remains a major concern for the United States, the officials said, adding that this means sustained communications at all ranks.

Defense Minister Li Changfu, who has not appeared in public for nearly two months amid a corruption investigation, had ignored US invitations to meet. He was targeted by US sanctions in 2018 over the purchase of Russian weapons.