US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next week, rescheduling a visit that was canceled in February after a saga over a suspected surveillance balloon, US officials said Friday.

Blinken is expected to arrive in Beijing on June 18, the first trip by a top US diplomat to China since his predecessor Mike Pompeo in October 2018, US officials said on condition of anonymity.

The State Department has not officially announced his travel. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently said the United States would announce travel by senior officials "in the near future" without giving details.

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met in Bali in November and agreed to try to stop high tensions from soaring out of control, including by sending Blinken to Beijing.

Blinken abruptly canceled a trip scheduled in early February after the United States said it detected -- and later shot down -- a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the US mainland, drawing fury from US lawmakers and denials by Beijing.

But the two sides have recently looked again to keep tensions in check including with a closed-door meeting between Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Vienna last month.


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