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China welcomes Blinken visit as it will put relations with US on ‘right track’

China has welcomed Antony Blinken’s visit to the country next month and said that the visit would put relations between the two countries on the “right track of sound and steady development”.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: “China welcomes [US] secretary of state Blinken’s visit to China. Both China and the United States are in communication now over the specific arrangements.”

“(China) also hopes the United States will adopt a correct view of China, uphold dialogue rather than confrontation, win-win rather than zero-sum (thinking),” he added.

Mr Blinken is expected to visit China early next month.

A state department official said that Mr Blinken will meet Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang in Beijing on 6 February, Reuters reported.

Earlier a report in Politico stated that the visit would take place between 5-6 February.

Mr Wang said that 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 proposed by President Xi Jinping, reported state media CGTN.

The official was referring to the US president Joe Biden and Mr Jinping’s meet along the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali in November.

Mr Wang added that the US should work with China and “and earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two presidents in Bali to bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development”.

Mr Blinken will be the first secretary of state to visit China in nearly five years.

In 2018, during the Trump presidency, Mike Pompeo met then-foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing.

On Wednesday, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen sat down with her Chinese counterpart vice premier Liu He in the highest-ranking contact between the two countries since Mr Biden and Mr Jinping’s meet in Bali.

The meeting comes as China’s economy reopens after a Covid-19 resurgence and both the countries’ economies grapple with differing but intertwined challenges on trade, technology and more.

(Additional reporting by agencies)