- Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Beijing this week to meet with senior Chinese officials.
- The visit was originally slated for earlier this year but postponed after a reconnaissance balloon linked to China was discovered lingering over U.S. airspace.
- This week's trip follows an overnight call between Blinken and China's state councilor and foreign minister, Qin Gang.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Beijing this week to meet with senior Chinese officials, the State Department announced Wednesday.
The visit was originally slated for earlier this year but postponed after a reconnaissance balloon linked to China was discovered lingering over U.S. airspace.
The top U.S. diplomat will "raise bilateral issues of concern, global and regional matters, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges," State Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement announcing the trip.
After Beijing, Blinken will then travel to London to meet with his counterparts from the U.K. and Ukraine. He will also meet with a number of allies on the sidelines of the Ukraine Recovery Conference. Blinken is expected to galvanize allies and the private sector to support Ukraine's reconstruction efforts.
The trip follows an overnight call between Blinken and China's state councilor and foreign minister, Qin Gang.
During the call, Blinken and Qin discussed maintaining open lines of communication between Washington and Beijing in order to "avoid miscalculation and conflict," according to a readout of the discussion released by the State Department.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington have intensified over China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, aggression toward Taiwan, allegations of espionage and human rights abuses.
Last month, Biden's national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, and China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, met in Vienna to discuss a range of topics, including Russia's war in Ukraine, as tensions between the world's two largest economies simmer.
The White House described the meeting as "candid, substantive and constructive."
A senior Biden administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity per ground rules established by the White House, said the two spoke a little over eight hours over the course of two days.
The official said Sullivan reiterated U.S. concerns about China's alignment with Russia and the possibility that the world's second-largest economy could help Moscow blunt sanctions.
Washington and its allies have imposed several rounds of coordinated sanctions over Moscow's war, vaulting Russia past Iran and North Korea as the world's most-sanctioned country.
So far, the White House has said that it has not seen Beijing provide assistance to the Kremlin's war effort.