Blinken will visit China this week as the fallout from spy balloons subsides.

As part of a months-long attempt to improve historically tense relations, the top American diplomat will meet with the foreign minister of China and maybe President Xi Jinping.

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China, signaling a strengthening of ties between Beijing and Washington following the downing of a rumored Chinese spy balloon that violated American airspace and loitered close to sensitive military installations while traveling across much of the nation in February.

The top American diplomat is preparing to meet with President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Qin Gang as part of a months-long attempt to restore contact between the two largest economies in the world amid historically tense times.

The trip will be Blinken’s first to China as secretary of state and the first by a U.S. secretary of state in five years, filling a significant void in high-level communication that American officials are attempting to fill. In a phone call with journalists on Wednesday, Dan Kritenbrink, the top American diplomat for Asia, declared that there is “no substitute” for face-to-face interactions.

As China hawks in Congress want an ever-harder stance from the United States and his Chinese counterparts welcome him with a definite suspicion that the Biden administration wants to weaken and suppress China, Blinken will be treading a fine line.

The likelihood of a significant breakthrough on important issues, such as Taiwan’s future, the conflict in Ukraine, and human rights concerns, has been downplayed by U.S. officials. However, they claim that Blinken will prioritize promoting U.S. “values and interests,” creating trustworthy channels of communication, and examining cooperation on climate change as well as economic issues, according to Kritenbrink.

“We’re traveling to Beijing with an honest intention of handling our competition in the most appropriate manner, a realistic, professional approach, and remarked Kritenbrink.President Biden and President Xi had agreed to have Blinken visit during a meeting in Indonesia last year, but that decision was later reversed after the scandal with the surveillance balloon led to both governments portraying themselves as the victims of the other’s uncontrolled hubris. Since then, disputes over Taiwan, Ukraine, and a string of perilous contacts among the Chinese and American forces have arisen. The White House revealed on Saturday that there is a Chinese listening station in Cuba.

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