China’s Top Diplomat to Meet Blinken, Sullivan in Washington

Frank Fang
By Frank Fang
October 24, 2023China News
China’s Top Diplomat to Meet Blinken, Sullivan in Washington
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during an opening ceremony of a diplomatic symposium at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Oct. 24, 2023. (Ken Ishi-Pool/Getty Images)

China’s top diplomat will travel to Washington for a three-day visit later this week, a trip that is part of the Biden administration’s continued effort to engage with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) diplomatically.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will arrive in Washington on Oct. 26, where he will hold meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, senior Biden administration officials said on Monday. They did not confirm whether the Chinese diplomat would also meet with President Joe Biden.

‘Challenging Issues’

On Tuesday afternoon, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning confirmed Mr. Wang’s U.S. trip. According to China’s state-run media, Ms. Mao said the two sides will have “in-depth exchanges” on international and regional issues of common concern.

Mr. Blinken and Mr. Wang will “discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues,” the State Department said in a statement, adding, “The United States will continue to use diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and values, address areas of difference, and make progress on shared transnational challenges.”

U.S. officials will push Beijing to be more constructive in the Middle East, senior administration officials said, adding that reestablishing military-to-military ties would remain a top U.S. priority.

According to the officials, the Russia-Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas wars will be among the topics of discussion during Mr. Wang’s visit.

The visit will take place against the backdrop of wars in Ukraine and Israel, the simmering tension between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, and Beijing’s coercive actions against Taiwan. It will also come as friction between Beijing and Washington mounts, as the Pentagon warned in a report just days earlier that China has 500 operational nuclear warheads now, possibly over 1,000 by 2030.

Moreover, the visit comes as Russia and China have grown increasingly close, as Russian leader Vladimir Putin concluded a rare trip to China last week. Some Republicans call China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia the new “axis of evil.”

“We continue to believe that direct face-to-face diplomacy is the best way to raise challenging issues, address misperception and miscommunication, and explore working with the Chinese where our interests intersect,” said one senior administration official, who briefed reporters on Mr. Wang’s trip on condition of anonymity.

US President Joe Biden (R) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (L) meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Nov. 14, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

On Oct. 14, Mr. Wang told his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, in a phone call that Israel’s military actions against Hamas had “gone beyond self-defense.” Mr. Wang’s remark drew criticism from Gordon Chang, author of the book “The Coming Collapse of China.”

“This is war, and #Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel. Israel, therefore, has a right to destroy Hamas and its sponsors, such as #Iran. This is the time to take down China’s proxies,” Mr. Chang wrote in an X post on Oct. 15.

Mr. Wang’s three-day visit will also come just several weeks before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, where President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could potentially meet. Their previous face-to-face meeting took place in November last year on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

The senior administration officials didn’t say whether Mr. Wang’s visit would pave the way for a subsequent meeting between the two world leaders at the APEC. Nevertheless, they characterized Mr. Wang’s trip as a “reciprocal” response to Mr. Blinken’s trip to China in June.

‘Glaring Failures’

During that June visit, Mr. Blinken said he had a “robust conversation” with Mr. Xi. While meeting with Chinese officials, Mr. Blinken said he had raised issues, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, the CCP’s provocative actions in its nearby waters, as well as human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet, and China’s far-western Xinjiang region.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his disappointment with Mr. Blinken’s June trip to China, describing it as one filled with “glaring failures.”

“Instead of holding China accountable, Secretary Blinken has echoed Chinese Communist Party propaganda on climate change and global macroeconomic stability,” Mr. McCaul wrote in a statement at the time.

Those failures included not having addressed the Chinese spy balloon, the CCP spy base in Cuba, and China’s role in the fentanyl crisis in the United States, according to the Texas lawmaker.

“It is also disappointing that Secretary Blinken did not effectively address the issue of stopping China’s fentanyl precursors to Mexico,” Mr. McCaul added.

“I urge the secretary to increase his efforts in future engagements with China. We must have a strong and unwavering stance on critical issues.”

NTD Photo
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas.) speaks with reporters after the House Republicans meeting securing the GOP nomination for House Speaker in Washington on Oct. 11, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

In addition to Mr. Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and climate enjoy John Kerry have visited China this year.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also led a delegation to China earlier this month. Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is spending this week in China after visiting Israel and meeting with survivors of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel.

CCP’s Human Rights Abuses

It remains uncertain whether Mr. Blinken will directly address the Chinese regime’s history of human rights abuses with Mr. Wang.

In recent months, several lawmakers have sent letters to Mr. Blinken, urging the State Department to take action to address Beijing’s human rights violations.

This month, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the chair and co-chair, respectively, of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), sent a letter to Mr. Blinken, Ms. Yellen, and Ms. Raimondo, seeking sanctions and export controls on U.S. technology due to the regime’s “egregious human rights abuses” in Tibet, including surveillance and collecting biometric data from people without obtaining their consent.

House China Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) wrote to Mr. Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 19, demanding the Biden administration to “rigorously enforce” U.S. laws because the CCP’s “ongoing genocide” against Uyghurs in Xinjiang “should not go without consequence.”

NTD Photo
Falun Gong practitioners participate in a parade marking the 30th anniversary of the spiritual discipline’s introduction to the public, in New York on May 13, 2022. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Reps. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) and Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) wrote to Mr. Blinken in June, calling on his department to “take immediate action” to prevent participants in the CCP’s forced organ harvesting industry from nearing immigration status.

“We write to express deep concern about the organ harvesting of minorities—including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, and Christians—wrongfully detained in China,” the letter reads.

“Evidence suggests that some medical practitioners in China are forcing organ harvesting procedures on the most vulnerable populations in China and those who perform these acts have no place in the United States.”

In 2019, the London-based China Tribunal concluded that forced organ harvesting had taken place in China for years “on a significant scale,” with Falun Gong practitioners being the primary source of human organs.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of simple, slow-moving meditation exercises and teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It grew in popularity during the 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million adherents in China by the end of the decade, according to official estimates at the time.

Feeling threatened by its popularity, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a systematic elimination campaign in July 1999. Since then, millions have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.