Top US diplomat Blinken visits China amid escalating tensions over Taiwan | Conflict News

The visit comes after the U.S. Senate approved a bill providing billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in China for a three-day visit following Senate approval of a foreign aid package providing billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Blinken, who arrived in Shanghai on Wednesday, will head to Beijing on Friday to meet with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and possibly President Xi Jinping, but is also expected to meet with business leaders in the city. ing.

Beijing and the US government said the visit was aimed at strengthening dialogue and stabilizing unstable bilateral relations.

The visit came hours after the U.S. Senate voted in favor of a massive foreign aid package and just before President Joe Biden is expected to sign it.

The bill sets aside $8 billion to counter the Chinese threat in Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region, gives China’s ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok, and if a sale is in progress. A three-month extension is also possible.

Beijing is also trying to resolve several other issues with the United States, including the United States’ accusation that China is fueling the fentanyl opioid crisis in the United States.

Secretary Blinken’s visit also highlighted the Biden administration’s assertion that Ukraine has allowed China to significantly restructure Russia’s defense industrial base, posing a broader threat beyond just influencing the Ukraine war. It is expected that this will be a central topic of discussion. European security.

Blinken said last week: “If China claims on the one hand that it wants good relations with Europe and other countries, it cannot, on the other hand, incite the greatest threat to European security since the end of the Cold War.” ” he said.

China insists it has the right to trade with Russia and accuses the United States of exacerbating the war by arming and financing Ukraine.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday: “It is extremely hypocritical for the United States to submit a large-scale aid bill to Ukraine while making baseless accusations against the normal economic and trade exchanges between China and Russia.” It’s irresponsible.”

In the Middle East, Blinken urged China to pressure Iran more aggressively to avoid escalating tensions in the region.

He has held numerous meetings with China’s Wang Yi, urging him to rein in the proxies he has supported in the region, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. He urged China to inform Iran.

Although China appears to have largely accepted these calls, tensions have been steadily rising since Israel’s start of the war in Gaza.

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