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Blinken set to travel to China for talks in coming weeks -US official

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 16, 2023. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to travel to China for talks in the coming weeks, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, amid simmering tensions months after he canceled a planned trip over a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

The official did not elaborate on timing.

The State Department did not confirm any plans. “We have no travel for the Secretary to announce; as we’ve said previously the visit to the People’s Republic of China will be rescheduled when conditions allow,” deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said.

Bloomberg News first reported the planned visit.

The top U.S. diplomat canceled a visit to Beijing earlier this year fter a suspected high-altitude Chinese spy balloon traversed the United States before being shot down by the U.S. military.

Ties between the world’s two largest economies are strained over issues ranging from Taiwan and China’s human rights record to military activity in the South China Sea.