China and the US are locked in struggle – and the visit by Secretary of State Blinken is only a start to improving relations
Krista Wiegand, 2023
In the weeks building up to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China on June 18-19, 2023, there was a lot of uncertainty in both the United States and China about the purpose and possible outcomes of the visit. When Blinken left Washington, D.C., it wasn’t even clear if he would be able to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He did.
The meeting took place just two weeks after a Chinese naval vessel crossed within 150 yards of a U.S. destroyer, in what the U.S. military calls an “an unsafe maritime interaction” in the Taiwan strait. It was not an isolated incident. Three weeks before Blinken and Xi sat down, a Chinese fighter jet came dangerously close to a U.S. surveillance plane over the South China sea.
Not surprisingly, these two close interactions heightened tensions at a time when relations between the two countries were already strained.