(New York) The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken was to meet Chinese Vice-President Han Zheng on Monday in New York, we learned from the State Department, as Washington and Beijing redouble their efforts to appease a tumultuous relationship.
The meeting takes place on the sidelines of the United Nations Annual General Assembly and comes the day after the meeting in Malta, Saturday and Sunday, between Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and the head of diplomacy Chinese, Wang Yi.
“The two sides had frank, substantive and constructive discussions,” the White House said in a statement over the weekend.
A senior official of the American executive, who requested anonymity, specified that the meeting had lasted a total of twelve hours over two days, and recalled that the last meeting of this type, and at this level, dates back to the month of last May.
It was around the same time, in the spring, that the American president predicted a “thaw” in the Sino-American relationship, which had soured in February following the flight over the United States by a Chinese balloon.
China and the United States are “committed to consultations” in certain areas, in particular about “policy and security developments in the Asia-Pacific,” according to the White House source.
The United States and China have renewed dialogue in recent months with a succession of visits by senior American officials to Beijing, including Antony Blinken.
This dialogue could foreshadow a possible face-to-face meeting between Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the next APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in mid-November in San Francisco (California) , but neither Washington nor Beijing have confirmed it at this stage.
In February, tensions between China and the United States rose with the flight over American territory by Chinese balloons, a espionage operation according to Washington.
Bilateral relations still remain tense, with trade disputes, Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and the issue of the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan remaining stumbling blocks.