No red carpet for Blinken in Beijing
US Secretary Antony Blinken was greeted by only a few Chinese officials and no red carpet when he stepped off the plane on Sunday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was greeted on Sunday by only a few Chinese officials, with no red carpet as he stepped off the plane.
The video published by Chinese state media appeared to downplay the importance of the two-day diplomatic visit, with no red carpet rolled out, in contrast to Emmanuel Macron's April visit or Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit in March 2022.
Some commentators believe the move was intentional to humiliate the US, while others simply said that China was giving the US the cold shoulder following its recent moves that inflamed tensions around China. Yang Tao, the head of China's Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs greeted Blinken when he arrived.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping met Blinken in Beijing on Monday, potentially reaching a crucial step toward warming ties between Washington and Beijing after numerous diplomatic rows.
The visit was planned for February, but it had to be postponed after Washington suspended its plans following the balloon incident with China.
According to US sources, the six-hour meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday did not bridge some of the most critical gaps between the two countries, but they were a potentially positive starting point.
The meeting between Xi and Blinken came to the US top diplomat's surprise since he was not expecting a meeting with the president.
Blinken landed in China on Sunday, marking his first visit to the country as Secretary of State and the first of an official in his position since 2018.
The secretary of state raised several points of contention on Sunday, including military activity in the South China Sea, China's support of Russia, the detention of American citizens in China, and the US' alleged claim that China produces Fentanyl, thus fueling the Opioid crisis in the states.
A stark contrast between the welcomes received by French President Emmanuel #Macron and US Secretary of State Antony #Blinken in China.— Eivor Vågslid (@Eivor_Koy) June 18, 2023
Those who come to China with a spirit of goodwill will be welcomed with open arms, while those who arrive bearing disdain will be met with… pic.twitter.com/pEq92AKZ9b
Future of mankind dependent on US-China ties
The future and the fate of humanity depend on whether China and the United States will find the right way to coexist, President Xi added during his meeting with Blinken.
"The future and destiny of mankind depend on whether the United States and China can find the right path to coexistence," Xi added.
Moreover, he underlined that both the US and China's common interests should be valued. "The success of one country is an opportunity, not a threat, to another."
The Chinese leader highlighted that Beijing respected Washington's interests, saying it would not challenge them nor try to replace them. The US should follow in Beijing's footsteps and respect China and not prejudice its legitimate rights and concerns, he added.
Touching further on his country's ties to the United States, Xi noted the concerns of the international community about the state of affairs between the United States and China, underlining that it does not want to choose either party.