Biden has been considering scrapping tariffs on a range of Chinese goods to curb surging US inflation before November.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Bali this week, the Department of State has said.
Blinken is due to depart for Asia on Wednesday for a trip lasting until Monday. The meeting with Wang, expected on Saturday, will be the latest high-level contact between US and Chinese officials as President Joe Biden weighs lifting tariffs on some Chinese goods to curb inflation.
“Secretary Blinken will first travel to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, where he will reinforce our commitment to working with international partners to confront global challenges, including food and energy insecurity and the threat Russia’s continued war against Ukraine presents to the international order,” the Department of State announced on Tuesday.
.@SecBlinken will travel to Bali, Indonesia, and Bangkok, Thailand, July 6-11 to attend the @g20org Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and to reinforce our ties with important partners in the Indo-Pacific. https://t.co/qbE9Joojei
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) July 5, 2022
The announcement comes as foreign ministers from the 20 biggest economies (G20) are to meet on the Indonesian island of Bali on Friday before a G20 leaders’ summit in November, also in Indonesia.
Despite a growing strategic rivalry between Washington and Beijing, Biden has been considering scrapping tariffs on a range of Chinese goods to curb surging US inflation before the November midterm elections for control of Congress.
The White House has said there is no deadline for the decision, but Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are also expected to speak in the coming weeks.
Blinken will also meet Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and will stop in Bangkok, Thailand to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, the Department of State said.
US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu on Monday and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met last month with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Luxembourg.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is also due to attend the Bali ministerial, but a meeting between him and Blinken is not expected. The two have not met since before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, an action denounced by Washington and its allies, which have been backing Kyiv with weapons supplies.
Shortly before the Russian invasion, China and Russia announced a “no limits” partnership, also denounced by Washington. But US officials have said they have not seen China evade sanctions or provide military equipment to Russia.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and has criticised the sweeping Western sanctions on Moscow.
Analysts have foreseen a contentious G20 meeting in which the United States and its allies are expected to blame Moscow for global food shortages since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a major grain exporter, while Russia blames US-led sanctions.