Blinken, Once Seen as a Headache in China, Could Be a Remedy
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Blinken, Once Seen as a Headache in China, Could Be a Remedy


APLN member Shen Dingli was quoted in the Washington Post, where he commented on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing.

When Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Beijing on Sunday for two days of talks with top officials, people in China were skeptical.

The secretary’s last name when pronounced in Mandarin sounds similar to the painkiller ibuprofen. People joked on Weibo, the domestic equivalent of Twitter, that his visit would cause headaches rather than relieve them.

Instead, it appears that Blinken’s visit has acted as a remedy, at least in the short term, alleviating some of the tensions in the bilateral relationship.

“This is good for China’s international image, for its grand narrative,” said Shen Dingli, a Shanghai-based scholar of international relations.

The meeting gave Chinese leader Xi Jinping a chance to improve the country’s image abroad — not just in the United States but also in Europe, Southeast Asia and elsewhere by framing China as a reasonable partner.

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