Antony Blinken meets with China’s President Xi as US, China spar over bilateral and global issues : The Tribune India

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Antony Blinken meets with China’s President Xi as US, China spar over bilateral and global issues

Their comments hinted at discussions including Taiwan and the South China Sea, China’s support for Russia and production and export of synthetic opioid precursors

Antony Blinken meets with China’s President Xi as US, China spar over bilateral and global issues

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Photo: AP/PTI



AP

Beijing, April 26

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and senior Chinese officials, warning of the dangers of misunderstandings and miscalculations as the United States and China butted heads over a number of contentious bilateral, regional and global issues.

Blinken met with Xi in Beijing after holding talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong.

Talks between the two sides have increased in recent months, even as differences have grown.

“We are committed to maintaining and strengthening lines of communication between us,” so that the two sides can prevent any “any miscommunications, any misperceptions and any miscalculations,” Blinken said.

Earlier, Blinken and Wang also underscored the importance of keeping lines of communication open as they lamented persistent and deepening divisions that threaten global security. Those divisions were highlighted earlier this week when US President Joe Biden signed a massive foreign aid bill that contains several elements that the Chinese see as problematic.

Their comments hinted at a long list of differences to be discussed, including Taiwan and the South China Sea, and trade and human rights, China’s support for Russia and the production and export of synthetic opioid precursors.

“Overall, the China-US relationship is beginning to stabilise,” Wang told Blinken at the start of about five-and-a-half hours of talks. “But at the same time, the negative factors in the relationship are still increasing and building and the relationship is facing all kinds of disruptions.”

“Should China and the United States keep to the right direction of moving forward with stability or return to a downward spiral?” he asked. “This is a major question before our two countries and tests our sincerity and ability.”

Wang also outlined, without being specific, well-known Chinese complaints about US policies and positions on the South China Sea, Taiwan, human rights and China’s right to conduct relations with countries it deems fit.

“China’s legitimate development rights have been unreasonably suppressed and our core interests are facing challenges,” he said. “China’s concerns are consistent. We have always called for respect of each other’s core interests and urge the United States not to interfere in China’s internal affairs, not to hold China’s development back, and not to step on China’s red lines on China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.”

Blinken responded by saying that the Biden administration places a premium on US-China dialogue even on issues of dispute. He noted there had been some progress in the past year but suggested that talks would continue to be difficult.

“I look forward to these discussions being very clear, very direct about the areas where we have differences and where the United States stands, and I have no doubt you will do the same on behalf of China,” Blinken told Wang.

Blinken arrived in China on Wednesday, visiting Shanghai shortly before Biden signed the $95 billion foreign aid package that has several elements likely to anger Beijing, including $8 billion to counter China’s growing aggressiveness toward Taiwan and in the South China Sea. It also seeks to force TikTok’s China-based parent company to sell the social media platform.

China and the United States are the major players in the Indo-Pacific. Washington has become increasingly alarmed by Beijing’s growing aggressiveness in recent years toward Taiwan and its smaller Southeast Asian neighbours with which it has significant territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

China has railed against US assistance to Taiwan and immediately condemned the aid as a dangerous provocation. It also strongly opposes efforts to force TikTok’s sale.

The bill also allots $61 billion for Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s invasion. The Biden administration has complained loudly that Chinese support for Russia’s military-industrial sector has allowed Moscow to subvert western sanctions and ramp up attacks on Ukraine.

US officials have said China’s ties with Russia would be a primary topic of conversation during Blinken’s visit, and just before Friday’s meetings began, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would visit China in May. 

#Antony Blinken #China #Russia #Taiwan #United States of America USA #Xi Jinping


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