March 22, 2023 08:18
Washington and Beijing are discussing a potential trip to China by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the White House said Monday.
It would be the highest level visit between the two countries since relations took a nosedive in February.
"Active" consideration of the trips is underway, John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, told reporters. "We're having discussions with the PRC (China) right now about a potential visit by Secretary Yellen and Secretary Raimondo to go over there and talk about economic issues," he said.
A much-anticipated visit to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scrapped at the last minute in February after the United States shot down a Chinese balloon said by the U.S. government to be spying on secretive military sites.
Kirby said Blinken could yet go. "That visit was postponed, it wasn't canceled," he said. "We still want to get Secretary Blinken back to Beijing."
"It's important that we keep those lines of communication open, particularly now, when tensions are so high," he said.
However, regarding a potential phone call between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, Kirby said "I don't have a call scheduled.
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