Secretary of State Antony Blinken's two-day trip to China, beginning Sunday, is his first since assuming office and the first by a U.S. secretary of state since Mike Pompeo went in 2018. That is too long a hiatus for the top diplomats of the world's two largest economies, and top two trading nations, to have high-level visits. It's past time for a resumption of dialogue.
The lengthy pause can be partly chalked up to China's rigid pandemic restrictions: The country largely closed itself to outside visitors under its now-abandoned "zero covid" strategy. But the five-year gap is also a reflection of the increasingly fraught relationship between the two superpowers and how mutual suspicion and finger-pointing have replaced regular dialogue and open channels of communication.