China dismisses rumours of U.S. Secretary of State’s visit, urges U.S. to respect core interests and major concerns

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

8th June 2023 – (Beijing) The Chinese Foreign Ministry has dismissed rumours of a possible visit to China by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the near future, saying they have nothing to share on that. The statement came following reports by several US media outlets that hyped a potential official visit by Blinken to China in the coming weeks. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Blinken is expected to visit China to meet with top Chinese officials, but a scheduled visit in February was cancelled after the “balloon incident” that added tensions to the China-U.S. relationship.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, in response to the rumours, noted on Wednesday that China and the US maintain necessary communication and that the responsibility for the current challenges facing China-U.S. relations does not lie with China. He urged the US to respect China’s core interests and major concerns, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop harming China’s interests, and stop calling for communication on the one hand and making provocations on the other. The U.S. needs to work with China in the same direction and bring bilateral relations back on the track of healthy and stable development.

U.S. is trying to test China’s reaction to Blinken’s potential visit through media hype and is trying to shape its own image as a promoter of communication. They noted that the US is eager to cooperate with China the way it wants to, but the series of actions it has taken recently reflect its duplicity and self-contradiction, which is seen clearly by the international community.

Washington is good at swaying public opinion in the way they understand it, and to get people to think in its direction, said Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He noted that observers should be wary of the US purposely setting an agenda for China and then attributing the chilly state of China-U.S. relations to the Chinese side, a plot that is unlikely to succeed.

While the U.S. is still playing with strategic ambiguity, it has realised that tensions are negative for both sides and the world, noted Lü. China has always welcomed dialogue and cooperation, but a dialogue requires the necessary conditions and atmosphere, said Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. He added that it is impossible to have dialogue for the sake of dialogue, much less to unilaterally satisfy U.S. hegemonic demands. Such dialogues are unlikely to be welcomed by China.