Antony Blinken will be expected in Beijing on Sunday June 18, according to US officials. The Secretary of State had originally scheduled the important visit for February, but it was postponed following the incursion of a Chinese balloon into United States airspace. It will be the first visit by a senior US diplomat to China since his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, traveled in October 2018, said the officials, who requested anonymity.

His visit has not yet been officially announced by the US State Department. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently said that Washington would communicate “in the near future” about the travel of senior US officials, but did not provide further details.

Last November, for the first time since Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House, the American president and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met at the G20 summit in Indonesia. The two leaders had agreed to cooperate on certain issues during their discussions. Relations between the two powers were again tense in February, after the overflight of American territory by a balloon considered as a spy by Washington. Antony Blinken then canceled his trip to China at the last minute.

However, both sides have recently sought to play the appeasement card, notably during a closed-door meeting in May in Vienna between the White House national security adviser , Jake Sullivan, and the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi. But, despite the American promise of a “thaw”, the two countries continue to cross swords on the questions of Taiwan, Chinese territorial claims in the China Sea or even the strategic one of electronic chips.