Antony Blinken to visit China after Biden and Xi's G20 meeting

US secretary of state to 'follow up' on discussions two leaders had during G20 meeting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. EPA
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China, the White House said on Monday, in a sign that tension between the two superpowers is cooling after presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit.

The White House said Mr Blinken would travel to China to “follow up” on discussions from the leaders' three-hour meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

China and the US were working “to schedule a visit tentatively planned for early next year”, a senior White House official told AFP.

The US said the two countries would continue co-operating on issues relating to climate change and food security.

Mr Biden said he believed there was no reason to fear a new Cold War.

The White House said after the meeting that Mr Biden and Mr Xi reaffirmed that “a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won”, and opposed Russia threatening to use nuclear force in Ukraine.

Beijing said the US “respects China’s system and doesn’t seek to change it”.

Mr Blinken's trip to China would be the first by a US secretary of state since Mike Pompeo, who served in Donald Trump's administration, visited in 2018.

Mr Pompeo and Mr Trump later became known for often denouncing China, particularly over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tension between the US and China flared again this summer when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip to Taiwan, which Beijing condemned as a breach of the “One-China” policy.

China called Taiwan “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations”.

Mr Biden told Mr Xi that Washington continues to respect the One-China policy, in which the US does not recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

The US president did raise objections to China's “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions towards Taiwan”, which Washington says undermines stability along the Taiwan Strait, the White House said.

Updated: November 14, 2022, 9:02 PM