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US and China talk about better ties but things have only become worse

By Iain Marlow, Jenny Leonard and Rebecca Choong Wilkins

02 Feb 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China next week in an attempt to ease tensions. But there are unlikely to be any major diplomatic breakthroughs, according to reporting by Bloomberg.

The U.S. keeps saying it wants to set a "floor" under the relationship with China. Its recent moves against Beijing and new pressure from Congress make achieving that look increasingly unlikely.

Two months after President Joe Biden met Xi Jinping in Bali with a promise to arrest a slide in ties, the world's two biggest economies and preeminent superpowers have been unable - or unwilling - to halt a cycle of suspicion and provocation. That's renewing doubts ahead of talks next week in Beijing about the possibility that the relationship will ever return to normalcy.

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