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Biden's Asia policy

Biden foreign policy team to embark on Indo-Pacific tour

Alaska meeting with China 'not a strategic dialogue,' Blinken tells Congress

President Joe Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. His foreign policy team will be meeting allies as well as strategic competitor China next week. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense) 

NEW YORK -- U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Japan and South Korea next week on their first foreign trip since taking office, as President Joe Biden's administration sets out to shore up Washington's core alliances in Asia.

Blinken will also meet with China's top two diplomats on the way back, marking the first face-to-face meeting with counterparts in the Biden era. But Blinken made clear to lawmakers Wednesday that it will not be a "strategic dialogue," but rather an opportunity to lay out America's key concerns. More engagements will follow only if there are tangible progress and outcomes on said issues, he added.

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