Testy ties: US diplomat to meet Chinese foreign minister, other officials
US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman will become the highest-level Biden administration official to visit China when she goes there this weekend amidst rising tensions between the two countries.
Sherman will meet China’s state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi and other officials in Tianjin on July 25-26, the US state department announced on Wednesday.
“These discussions are part of ongoing US efforts to hold candid exchanges with People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials to advance US interests and values and to responsibly manage the relationship,” the state department added. “Sherman is expected to discuss areas where we have serious concerns about PRC’s actions, as well as areas where our interests align.”
Sherman is the second highest US diplomat.
The highest level in-person interaction between the two sides was a meeting secretary of state Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan had with their Chinese counterparts in March in Alaska, which was marked by several testy exchanges.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have spoken on phone and the Chinese leader also attended the Climate Summit hosted by his American counterpart.
The announcement of Sherman’s visit comes just days after the US led an unprecedented joint effort from Nato, EU and the Five Eyes partners to publicly blame and shame the Chinese government for the Microsoft Exchange hacking, and other such actions.
From China, Sherman will travel to Oman, the state department said.