Blinken Goes to China With Potential Trouble on Horizon

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will arrive in China on Wednesday to try to preserve the recent and delicate stabilization of ties between the United States and China, as tensions over trade, territorial disputes and national security threaten to derail relations again.

Even as Mr. Blinken’s plane approached Shanghai, the challenges ahead were apparent. He was set to land just hours after the U.S. Senate passed a bill, which President Biden is expected to quickly sign into law, that provides $8 billion to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region, and could also lead to a nationwide ban on the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

The political season in the United States also looms as a complication. With the presidential election nearing, Democrats and Republicans are vying to appear tougher on China. And if former President Donald Trump is re-elected, he could reverse Beijing’s and Washington’s efforts to steady the relationship.

During Mr. Blinken’s three-day trip, which will also include a visit to Beijing, he plans to press Chinese officials on a wide range of issues, including its support for Russia, cheap Chinese exports that U.S. officials say threaten American jobs, and Chinese ships’ aggressive maneuvers in the South China Sea, a senior State Department official told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Chinese officials are likely to bring up American support for Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims, and trade restrictions that Beijing calls discriminatory.

Mr. Blinken is expected to meet with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi. It is not clear whether he will meet with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, as he did during his last visit, in June.

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