According to some sources, CIA Director William Burns reportedly traveled clandestinely to China in May in an effort to improve relations with Chinese intelligence officials following the discovery of a spy balloon above the United States.
Burns visited the communist nation to speak with intelligence personnel, according to a source who reportedly informed the Financial Times that he allegedly had no diplomatic engagements during that time.
Since a Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down in February off the coast of South Carolina after flying over the whole United States, President Joe Biden has been working to bring about a thaw in ties between the two countries.
China’s senior diplomat, Wang Yi, had a lengthy meeting with Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor for the White House, last month in Vienna.
But tensions still exist as a result of China’s last-weekend rejection of a Pentagon request for a meeting between the senior military leaders of Beijing and Washington.
The highest ranking Biden administration official to visit China before Burns’ travel was Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in July 2021.
In the aftermath of the spy balloon issue, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to China in February was postponed.