Blinken's visit to Beijing is welcomed by both the US and China, as the risk of open conflict in the South China Sea between Chinese and US military forces is something nobody wants. However, at the end of the day, Beijing has more to lose than Washington from a breakdown in bilateral relations. It may be possible to contain PRC aggression through increased sanctions and dialogue — cooling tensions is in order.
Blinken's visit to Beijing is a much-welcome sign of increased communication between the PRC and the US amid all-time low relations. While many observers do not expect a breakthrough in the relationship, both sides are committed to continuing to meet and talk. Beijing wants to build a stable, predictable, and constructive relationship with the US and expects Washington will uphold an objective and rational understanding of Beijing, rather than a hegemonic approach.
There is an 8% chance there will be active warfare between the United States and China before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.