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China, Blinken will meet Xi: a sign of détente also for Ukraine

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China, Blinken will meet Xi: a sign of détente also for Ukraine

TAIPEI. The two powers talk to each other again. Not on a neutral ground, as at the Bali summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, but on Chinese territory. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be in Beijing between Sunday and Monday. Talks with the new foreign minister Qin Gang, freshly ex ambassador to Washington, and the diplomacy czar Wang Yi have already been scheduled. But, according to the Financial Times, Blinken will also be received by the president: a signal that China is willing to defuse tensions. The last secretary of state received by Xi was Rex Tillerson in September 2017: before the trade war, the pandemic, the Russian invasion. Above all, before the competition between the US and China turned into an all-out dispute.
We will talk about Ukraine and Taiwan, semiconductors and decoupling: some of the main reasons for confrontation. The Kremlin has just announced Xi’s forthcoming visit to Moscow, a sign of political support for Vladimir Putin. In Washington they are convinced that Beijing is also helping Russia on the technological front, a key sector of the challenge between powers. It is no coincidence that Biden is expanding his grip on Huawei and microchip exports, with China ready to respond by blocking components for solar panels.
The Quotidiano del Popolo, the official organ of the Communist Party, wrote that “China and the US must find a way to get along”. But the media and the government accuse Washington of repeating “a cold war mentality”. Beijing feels surrounded after the strengthening of the US military partnership with South Korea and Japan and the announcement of the agreement with the Philippines for access to 9 military bases. The Taiwan dossier, where Republican congressional speaker Kevin McCarthy is due to go in April in a re-edition of Nancy Pelosi’s trip, is the main stumbling block to détente.
Expectations are low but the resumption of dialogue can at least prevent the dispute from turning into something worse.

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