China welcomes Blinken's visit; 'time for US to make changes'
Published: Jan 17, 2023 11:09 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

China welcomes US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit China and is in communication with the US side on specific arrangements for the visit, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Tuesday, as Chinese experts said it is time for the US to make some changes to actively fix the damaged bilateral ties and bring good news for the fragile global recovery.

Wang made the remarks in response to US media reports that said Blinken will visit China on February 5 and will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Wang said "China has always viewed and developed its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation."

China hopes that the US will adopt a correct perception about China, stick to dialogue rather than confrontation, and pursue win-win results rather than a zero-sum game, Wang said. "It is hoped that the US can work with China to fully deliver on the important common understandings reached between the two heads of state, and bring China-US relations back to the track of sound and steady growth," Wang remarked.

US media Politico said in a report that Blinken's "much-anticipated" China trip is a follow-up to the summit between the top leaders of the two countries in Indonesia in November 2022, at which US President Joe Biden pledged to "maintain open lines of communication" with China at a time of worsening bilateral tensions.

But according to Politico, some US observers like Susan Shirk, former deputy assistant secretary of state, consider that this potential visit will test to what extent China will "moderate" its foreign and domestic policies to satisfy the US. Chinese analysts said such thinking is laughable and unhelpful for the recovery of bilateral ties, which matter a great deal for world peace and global economic recovery. 

Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that "many US elites believe that US-China ties could only be fixed when China makes compromises or changes. This is very unrealistic and contradictory to the history of China-US relations."

From the establishment of ties in 1972 to today, the US has made a lot of changes to build trust with China and develop bilateral ties to benefit the people of the two countries, and now, it is time for the US to change again, to fix its problematic China policies, Lü said.

Some US media always want to make China look like the side that is asking for tensions to be eased, turning a blind eye to the fact that it is the White House and the US State Department that desperately want to make the visit happen, said Chinese experts. 

In 2023, China has full confidence to realize a fast economic rebound after a series of policy adjustments, and it is a main task of the Chinese government to deliver a successful recovery, so China will definitely want a peaceful external environment and welcome US attitude to ease tension, Lü said.

The Biden administration will enter the second half of its term in 2023, and the economic data of 2022 will likely be announced before Blinken's visit. "The data won't look good for sure," Lü noted.

With the data sending message of an economy in recession, the Biden administration needs to bring back economic confidence, so what the US needs to do at the moment is to make full use of engagement with China to fix the damaged supply chains and save its own economy which is certainly in trouble. For instance, they should cancel the restrictions and sanctions that target China's development but in fact harm the US economy as well, analysts said. 

"It's for the US to decide how to move. Many in US business circle, especially the semiconductor industry, are looking at Blinken," Lü said. "If his visit is successful, it could pave the way for more engagement between not only the diplomats, but also the financial teams of the two countries. And the two countries could at least reach some progress in the fields of economy and trade."

According to the Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen will meet in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state in Bali at the G20 and strengthen macroeconomic and financial policy coordination, a spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.