US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's arrival in Beijing on Sunday was met with a lackluster reception from Chinese officials at the airport. Notably, there was no red carpet, and only a small number of officials were present to greet him.
Blinken was welcomed by Yang Tao, Director General of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, and U.S. Ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns.
Netizens swiftly pointed out the less-than-warm reception given to Blinken upon landing in the capital city.
It is worth mentioning that Blinken is the first top U.S. diplomat to visit China in five years, making the reception particularly noteworthy.
Blinken holds extensive talks with Chinese FM Qing
In an effort to alleviate escalating bilateral tensions, Antony Blinken engaged in comprehensive discussions with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, on various pressing matters. The discussions covered topics such as the Taiwan issue and the Ukraine war.
Antony Blinken's two-day visit to Beijing precedes Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming state visit to Washington and his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on June 22. During Blinken's visit, the agenda is expected to include deepening defense cooperation and strengthening the Quad alliance comprising the US, India, Australia, and Japan—an alliance that China views as containment.
Restoring Engagement, Managing Relations
Blinken's visit is widely regarded as an attempt to maintain open communication channels between Washington and Beijing, with the aim of responsibly managing bilateral relations. Analysts suggest that while the visit signals a desire for both sides to restore engagement, prospects for a breakthrough remain uncertain, as reported by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
Neither side has yet commented on the outcomes of the discussions held between Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. The nature and details of the talks are yet to be disclosed.