China Celebrates Antony Blinken Visit as Another Opportunity to Scold America

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press availability in Nusa Dua on t
Stefani Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

The Chinese Foreign Ministry appeared to confirm reports this week American Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China in February, firmly asserting Beijing expects Blinken to “perceive China correctly” and “work with China in the same direction.”

The administration of leftist President Joe Biden had hinted at an early 2023 visit to China by its top diplomat for months. This week, however, the Washington, DC, outlet Politico claimed, based on administration insiders, that the visit was scheduled to begin on February 5. It would be Blinken’s first engagement with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in his new capacity as the top-ranked Chinese diplomat; Qin previously served as Chinese ambassador to America and maintained longstanding dialogue with Blinken and the State Department generally.

Since his appointment as secretary of state, Blinken has routinely kept in communication with his Chinese counterparts, most prominently Qin’s predecessor Wang Yi. Blinken’s encounters with Wang and other Chinese officials have been defined by the Chinese berating Blinken over alleged American human rights abuses, “Black Lives Matter,” and American domestic policy with little pushback from Blinken.

In Blinken’s first high-profile meeting with Wang – alongside National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi – Yang delivered a 15-minute tirade in which he bellowed that “the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength” and was a racist country.

Blinken and Sullivan did not offer any meaningful response, despite the fact that China is the world’s worst polluter, routinely violates the human rights of its citizens, and is currently engaging in genocide.

Subsequent meetings between Blinken and Wang maintained the same tone with only mild criticism from the former.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not confirm the details of the expected upcoming Blinken trip to Beijing. He did appear, however, to confirm that plans for a visit were in progress.

File/U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the 77th United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Pool Photo via AP)

“We welcome Secretary Blinken’s visit to China. China and the US are in communication on the specifics of the visit,” Wang said.

He added that the visit was an opportunity for “the U.S. will perceive China correctly, pursue dialogue and win-win cooperation, not confrontation and zero-sum competition, work with China in the same direction and fully deliver on the important common understandings.” Blinken, he concluded, should “bring the China-US relations back to the track of sound and steady growth.”

Wang did not indicate that Qin had a similar burden of perceiving America correctly, working with America in the “same direction,” or bringing relations “back to the track of sound and steady growth.”

The Global Times, a Chinese state propaganda outlet, cited its usual stable of regime-approved “Chinese experts” to define the Blinken visit as a “time for the US to make some changes to actively fix the damaged bilateral ties,” with presumably no meaningful changes from China. The “experts” described any hope that China would “moderate” its belligerence to Washington as “laughable and unhelpful.”

“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,” one of those alleged experts, identified as Lü Xiang, was quoted as saying. “It is time for the US to change again, to fix its problematic China policies.”

The Blinken visit for early 2023 was in the works since at least December, according to the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, the People’s Daily. Blinken began the year with a phone conversation with Qin, departing his capacity as ambassador to America.

“Called Blinken to say goodbye. I appreciated several candid, in-depth and constructive meetings with him during my tenure. I look forward to continuing close working relations with him for a better China-US relationship,” Qin said of the phone call via Twitter, which Chinese citizens cannot access but high-ranking Communist Party officials use for propaganda purposes.

While the Foreign Ministry described the priority of Blinken’s visit as being thawing ties with China, the families of Americans abducted by the Chinese government are demanding the secretary of state raise the issue of their freedom. Relatives of those wrongfully imprisoned in China over unsubstantiated allegations of “espionage” and other crimes told Reuters on Wednesday that imprisoned Americans should be a priority.

“My message for Blinken is: say their names,” Katherine Swidan, mother of detained American Mark Swidan, told Reuters. “They’re American citizens. They’ve been wrongfully detained. Enough is enough.”

Blinken’s contact with Chinese officials has not raised the issue of Americans whose rights the Communist Party are violating, at least not in a manner known publicly, in the past. The summit with Wang and Yang in March 2021 – which took place in Alaska, prompting complaints from the communists that the venue was too cold – resulted in the Chinese berating Blinken and Sullivan on alleged race problems in America.

“On human rights, we hope the United States will do better on human rights,” Yang Jiechi, representing a genocidal government, said at the time. “The challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as “Black Lives Matter.” It did not come up only recently.”

The Chinese government enjoyed the spectacle so much that it began selling commemorative tote bags and mobile phone cases with Yang quotes on them.

In subsequent meetings with Blinken, Wang condemned the Biden debacle in Afghanistan, condemned Biden for allegedly “interfering with the Beijing Winter Olympics,” and whined about export controls on Chinese products, claiming Washington was “seriously violating free trade principles.”

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