Chinese Vice President Han Zheng, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly, met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 9.
Blinken told Han: "We have the opportunity to build on the recent high-level engagement between the two countries, and I think that's a good thing." Information disclosed on the U.S. State Department's website shows that the two sides had frank and constructive discussions and emphasized their commitment to ensuring that channels of communication remain open. The two sides exchanged views on the Russian-Ukrainian war and the Korean issue. Blinken also stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
According to a report by China's official Xinhua News Agency, Han Zheng called on the United States to meet China halfway, take practical actions, create favorable conditions, do more to enhance mutual understanding and mutual benefit cooperation, and promote Sino-US relations back to a healthy and stable track.
As we all know, in the past, most of China's attending the UN General Assembly were presidents, premiers or foreign ministers. None of China's high-level foreign-related officials attend the General Assembly, and it is rare for a vice president to attend the General Assembly.
Wang meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 2023, 9. The meeting was not a simple exchange of pleasantries, but a formal discussion at a sit-down. (Reuters)
Many analysts originally thought that Wang Yi's absence from the UN General Assembly indicated that Chinese President Xi Jinping might not go to the United States to attend APEC in November. But Mr. Han's meeting with Blinken showed it was not a courtesy meeting.
When Blinken was able to hold discussions with a ceremonial vice president, it was enough to suggest that the United States judged that Han Zheng was not just a ceremonial vice president, but had a certain say in Sino-US communication.
Han Zheng became vice president as an ordinary party member, following the example of his predecessor, Wang Qishan. Wang Qishan was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and later vice president as an ordinary party member, and was considered the eighth standing committee member of the CCP at the time. Han Zheng was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and vice premier of the State Council, where he held a position of great authority at the time. His assumption of the post of vice president as an ordinary party member fully demonstrates the trust of the top and is clearly not just a fictitious post.
Especially after Qin Gang was removed from the post of Chinese foreign minister, the specific diplomatic work was pressed on the side of Wang Yi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office, who was also the foreign minister. Han Zheng went to the United States to attend the General Assembly, attended a series of meetings, and held bilateral meetings with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the 78th session of the General Assembly and leaders of relevant countries. Han Zheng is likely to be an important figure in Chinese diplomacy besides Wang Yi. This is the basis for the United States' willingness to send such an important cabinet member as the secretary of state to meet with South Korea in New York.
British media: Talking about the world's need to stabilize US-China relations, Han Zheng attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York Guterres Han Zheng met with Blinken US State Department: The two sides had frank and constructive discussions