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Timeline: Top US-China Exchanges Since Biden Took Office

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began two days of talks in Beijing on Sunday, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

Blinken’s visit, postponed after a suspected Chinese spy balloon flew over U.S. airspace in February, was aimed at stabilizing tense relations between the two world’s two biggest economies, but hopes for a breakthrough were low.

Below is a list of some other high-level U.S.-China exchanges during Biden’s term.

Biden-Xi phone call – February 10, 2021

Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held their first phone call as leaders, appearing at odds on issues ranging from trade to human rights, even as Xi warned that confrontation would be a “disaster” for both nations.

First high-level meeting – March 18, 2021

The first bilateral face-to-face meeting at a high level under Biden’s administration was in Anchorage, Alaska. It got off to a fiery start, with each side rebuking the other’s policies in a rare public display that underscored the tensions.

The talks were led on the U.S. side by Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and on the Chinese side by senior diplomats Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi.

First trade talks – May 26, 2021

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and China’s then Vice Premier Liu He held talks virtually, the first such high level trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies since Biden took office.

Senior US diplomat visits China – July 26, 2021

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman held talks with State Councilor Wang Yi, in Tianjin, China. She was the top Biden official to visit China until Blinken nearly two years later.

Biden-Xi hold meeting – November 15, 2021

Biden and Xi spoke via video link for the first time in talks lasting more than three hours, which covered a wide range of topics including Taiwan, North Korea and trade.

Sullivan-Yang talks in Rome – March 14, 2022

Weeks after China’s close ally Russia invaded Ukraine, Sullivan held a seven-hour meeting with Yang to warn Beijing not to aid Moscow’s war effort.

Defense chiefs hold first talks – April 20, 2022

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a call with China’s then-defense minister Wei Fenghe, the first talks between the two since Biden took office.

Blinken-Wang talks in New York – September 23, 2022

Taiwan was the focus of 90-minute, “direct and honest” talks between Blinken and Wang on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, a U.S official told reporters.

The talks came just over a month after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, the democratic island China claims as its own, triggering a furious reaction from Beijing.

Biden, Xi meet in Bali – November 14, 2022

Biden and Xi held their long-awaited first face-to-face leadership talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. During the three-and-a-half hours of talks the pair covered topics including Taiwan and nuclear-armed North Korea.

VP Harris greets Xi in Bangkok – November 19, 2022

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met briefly with Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand.

Blinken, Wang hold tense Munich talks – February 19, 2023

The top diplomats of the two superpowers, Blinken and Wang, met at an undisclosed location on the sidelines of a global security conference in Munich, amid the dispute over the U.S. downing of the suspected Chinese spy balloon.

US, China commerce chiefs trade barbs in Washington – May 25, 2023

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao exchanged barbs on trade, investment and export policies in face-to-face talks in Washington, D.C., described by Raimondo’s office as “candid and substantive.”

US, China defense chiefs shake hands at Shangri-la Dialogue – June 2, 2023

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shook hands with China’s Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu on the sidelines of a security summit in Singapore but the two did not have a “substantive exchange,” according to the Pentagon. The handshake came after China rejected a proposal from the U.S. for Austin and Li to hold formal talks at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Source: voanews