According to a report from Financial Times, the US and China’s top diplomats might hold talks on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Italy next week. The report cited unnamed sources who said the US and China were discussing a possible meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The last time Wang and Blinken met was in March, during high-level talks that quickly turned hostile after Blinken accused China of threatening the so-called “rules-based order.” The hour of the meeting that was made public demonstrated the sorry state of US-China relations.
The Financial Times report said the US is also considering arranging a second phone call between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both Xi and Biden will attend a meeting of G20 leaders in Italy this October. The push for talks could lead to the first in-person meeting between the US and Chinese leader of Biden’s presidency.
Last week, after Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the White House was considering arranging a Biden-Xi summit. He also pointed out that both leaders would be in Italy during the October G20 summit.
With US-China relations so strained, high-level diplomatic meetings could help ease tensions. But considering the fact that the Biden administration’s top foreign policy priority is countering China, it will be hard for the two countries could find common ground.