To say that Joe Biden’s State Department from Hell is overextended is an euphemism.
Wars in the middle East, in Ukraine, threats from North Korea, Iran… not to mention China’s displeasure over the Taiwan elections.
Along with all those emergencies, there is also the ‘normal’ activities permeating the diplomatic calendar of summits and meetings.
And Americans are scrambling to keep up with Chinese rivals. Besides the political confrontation and military antagonism, now a dizzy Blinken needs to counter the ‘charm offensive’ from Beijing during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“U.S. diplomats have been so worried about the size and intent of a Chinese delegation in Switzerland this week that they’re trying to arrange a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken with a Swiss official while he’s in the country for the World Economic Forum.”
It would be really bad if Switzerland doesn’t feel valued by the US delegation, right as China is making every effort to get close to them.
The Chinese delegation will also visit the Swiss capital, Bern.
Blinken will be in Davos only on Tuesday and Wednesday, will hold several meetings, and deliver a public speech to the business and political leaders.
“Chinese Premier Li Qiang, often described as the No. 2 to paramount leader Xi Jinping, is leading the delegation from Beijing. Beijing ‘will have 10 state ministers in attendance’, according to the State Department document, which is dated Jan. 12. ‘Their #2 will have a meeting with Swiss leaders. Amb. [Scott] Miller characterized it as a ‘pseudo state visit.’
The document goes on: ‘Miller believes it would be bad optics if [Secretary Blinken] doesn’t at least have a handshake with new Pres of Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd, who has made herself completely available for a meeting’.”
For Blinken, Davos will be a hectic trip with ‘several different venues and moving parts’.
“A U.S. official familiar with the matter said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may meet Monday with Chinese officials in Bern. The official was granted anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
The document states that, while in Davos, Blinken is set to meet with Zelensky; European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen; and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, among others.”