Blinken: Tensions between the US and China are Decreasing
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said tensions with China had eased, but expressed concern about Beijing's intentions on Taiwan.
Asked during an appearance at the University of Chicago if the temperature in relations with China had cooled, Blinken said: "I think it has because when you talk and engage, it usually has that effect. The rest of the world expects us to manage these relationships responsibly. They know that the way we manage them will actually affect them," Blinken said.
According to a US official, Blinken will visit Beijing on February 5 and 6, marking the first visit by a secretary of state to the Asian country since October 2018.
The decision to visit came after Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping held talks in Bali in November about the wide-ranging friction between the world's two biggest economic powers.
But Blinken again expressed concern over China-claimed Taiwan, pointing to Beijing's growing efforts to isolate the self-ruled democracy and the major military exercises it held near the island in August.
"What we've seen over the last few years is that China has made a decision that it's no longer comfortable with the status quo -- a status quo that's prevailed for decades and that's actually been successful in terms of the relationship between our countries and the management of that, what we call a difficult situation. What we're saying to China is this -- they say it's their sovereign issue; our response is that it's in the interest of the United States and countries around the world," Blinken said.
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