WASHINGTON, February 14
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is considering meeting top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference starting this week, in what would be their first face-to-face talks after the United States shot down what it said was a Chinese spy balloon and other flying objects, sources said.
Earlier this month, Blinken postponed a planned trip to Beijing due to what he called an unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and airspace by a Chinese surveillance balloon later downed off the coast of South Carolina on February 4. The US military says it has since shot down another three unidentified objects flying over North America.
The balloon's intrusion into US airspace caused outrage in Washington, with politicians criticising the military and President Joe Biden for failing to shoot it down when it first appeared.
But it has also raised questions about when the two countries, both eager to inject stability into turbulent relations, might next conduct high-level meetings.
One US official said a meeting between Blinken and Wang was possible at the Munich conference, which runs from February 17 to 19. A second source also said it was possible but that nothing had been confirmed. — Reuters
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