The US State Department has announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next week for a high-level meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

This will be Blinken’s first visit to China since taking office in January, and comes amid rising tensions between the two countries over issues such as trade, human rights, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The trip spans from June 16 to 21 and will also include a visit to London, the Department of State said on Wednesday.

The meeting is expected to cover a range of topics of mutual interest and concern, and to explore areas of possible cooperation and dialogue.

The State Department said that Blinken’s visit is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to engage with China in a “principled, clear-eyed and responsible manner”.

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