During meetings in Shanghai, Blinken addresses Chinese trade practices with officials in the financial hub.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed what the U.S. sees as unfair Chinese trade practices during a meeting with local government officials in Shanghai. He met with Communist Party Secretary Chen Jining and expressed concerns about Chinese trade policies and economic practices. Blinken emphasized the importance of healthy economic competition and a level playing field for U.S. workers and firms in China. The U.S. has long been troubled by China’s trade surplus and alleged intellectual property theft.

China, on the other hand, strongly objects to U.S. accusations of human rights abuses and its support for Taiwan. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that China conducts economic and trade cooperation based on market principles and WTO rules. Blinken also engaged with students and business leaders before heading to Beijing for talks with national officials, such as Foreign Minister Wang Yi and possibly President Xi Jinping.

Blinken’s visit coincided with the signing of a $95 billion foreign aid package by President Joe Biden, which includes measures to counter China’s actions in Taiwan and the South China Sea. China has criticized this aid as a provocation and opposes efforts to force the sale of TikTok’s parent company. Despite these tensions, Blinken’s visit signals a willingness on both sides to discuss their differences and manage the relationship responsibly.

During the meetings, both Blinken and Chen emphasized the importance of cooperation over confrontation for the well-being of both countries and humanity. Chen expressed hope that Blinken gained a deep understanding of Shanghai during his visit. Concerns have also been raised about potential overcapacity in Chinese industries affecting foreign manufacturers. Blinken attended a basketball game in Shanghai and the implications of the U.S. presidential race on U.S.-China relations remain uncertain. Former President Donald Trump’s tough stance on China could potentially deepen trade war tensions.

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