Report: Antony Blinken Abruptly Cancels China Trip amid Spy Balloon Scandal

Stefani Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

Senior Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs reported on Friday morning that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has canceled a planned visit to China in the wake of the discovery of a Chinese surveillance balloon in Montana.

Jacobs cited unnamed officials within the administration of far-left President Joe Biden who described the trip as being “postponed,” previously stating that Biden was considering whether to “postpone or cancel” the trip.

Multiple media outlets reported on Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was planning on meeting genocidal Chinese dictator Xi Jinping during the Beijing visit, previously expected to begin on Sunday. Blinken is currently in the Middle East, most recently stopping in Jordan to meet that country’s king, Abdullah II.

The Financial Times first reported, citing “several” anonymous sources, that Xi would personally greet America’s top diplomat. Japan’s Nikkei later reported that its own American sources had independently confirmed the news from the Financial Times.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning, presiding over the agency’s regular press conference, refused to confirm or comment on the reports at all on Friday. Mao also refused to confirm that Blinken would visit China, though the Chinese government appeared to confirm such a visit last month.

The secretary of state was set to travel to China as Beijing’s growing belligerence against its neighbors, its support of the Russian economy as that nation continues its nine-year-old colonization campaign against Ukraine, its intellectual property theft, and gross human rights abuses against its own people have greatly damaged the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the free world. Far-left President Joe Biden – whose political career has long contained suspect financial ties to China – has attempted to patch up relations with Beijing in recent months, meeting with Xi in November and insisting “there need not be a new Cold War.” Biden’s administration has emphasized friendly relations with China since he took office in 2021, using far-left “climate envoy” John Kerry to engage Chinese officials and going so far as to publicly dismiss the Uyghur genocide as a result of “different norms” between China and America.

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)

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)

The Biden administration became embroiled in a new China-related scandal on Thursday night as the Pentagon confirmed the unauthorized appearance of a Chinese “high-altitude surveillance balloon” over Montana, home to critical nuclear sites and military facilities. The Chinese government claimed the balloon was a meteorological surveillance “airship” that it had not intended to send into American airspace on Friday. The Biden administration has refused to shoot it down, citing the potential of hurting people on the ground with its debris.

Blinken, in particular, has been instrumental in pleasing the Chinese government with several embarrassing displays before top Chinese diplomats. In March 2021, early in the Biden presidency, Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held a catastrophic meeting with then-Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and top Politburo member Yang Jiechi in Alaska that mostly consisted of Yang berating Blinken and Sullivan over America’s alleged racism, ranting about “Black Lives Matter” and “human rights” violations in the United States. The Chinese government was so pleased with Blinken and Sullivan’s poor performance Chinese companies sold commemorative tote bags and cell phone covers with Yang quotes from the summit on them.

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Blinken helped run a consultant firm specializing in helping American universities process dubious Chinese funding known as WestExec, New York Times-bestselling author Peter Schweizer revealed last year in his new bestseller Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win. An archived version of WestExec’s website from Blinken’s time there described part of its services as helping research universities “continue to provide capability to and remain a trusted partner of the USG [U.S. government] while pursuing commercial activities in China.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center right, and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, center left, talk before a meeting in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, Saturday, July 9, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

“WestExec listed this as one of their services on their website—until shortly before Joe Biden accepted the nomination for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention in August 2020,” Schweizer wrote. “Then they mysteriously deleted it.”

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Blinken was expected to meeting in Beijing with Wang Yi once again – Wang has since succeeded Yang Jiechi as a top Politburo and foreign policy official – and with Qin Gang, the former Chinese ambassador to America who succeeded Wang as foreign minister.

Mao, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, repeatedly insisted she had “nothing to offer” on any potential Blinken visit to China, although she was presiding over the last regular press briefing of the week before Blinken was expected to land in Beijing on Sunday. Mao also denied having any knowledge of the balloon over Montana, prior to the Foreign Ministry confirming it was of Chinese origin and describing it as a weather research vessel.

Blinken would have been the first secretary of state to meet Xi, should the meeting have occurred, since President Donald Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, did so in 2017.

Trump, a candidate for president in the 2024 election, weighed in on the Chinese balloon controversy on Friday, writing: “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!”

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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