Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister have ‘direct and honest exchange’ on Taiwan

New York

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi “had a direct and honest exchange on Taiwan-related issues” on Friday, a senior US administration official said. Ky said.

The two diplomats met for nearly 90 minutes in New York, and their conversation was mostly focus on Taiwanofficial said.

The meeting was held amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing and the confines of Blinken’s busy diplomatic week at the UN General Assembly, where he met with a host of fellow diplomats from around the world and made statements critical of Russia’s war in Ukraine at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. It also comes as Blinken is grieving a huge personal loss – his father, Donald Blinken, passed away on Thursday night.

According to the official, the meeting with Wang was “extremely candid, direct, constructive and in-depth,” and Blinken emphasized “the need to maintain open lines of communication for us to can manage the US-China relationship responsibly, especially in times of tension.”

“Obviously, the differences between the United States and China are real, but we recognize the need to manage those differences and our competition responsibly,” they said.

Officials have described managing the relationship between the US and China as one of the most important challenges facing the US. Relations between the two countries became even more strained after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, after which Beijing stepped up its provocations against the island. .

In a speech at the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang warned that “as things remain stable, the Taiwan issue is becoming the biggest risk in China-US relations.”

“If it is mishandled, it will most likely destroy our bilateral relationship,” he said.

US President Joe Biden, in a “60 Minutes” interview aired Sunday, was asked if US forces would defend Taiwan.

“Yes, if it were in fact an unprecedented attack,” he replied. U.S. officials say their policy toward the island has not changed, and according to the senior administration official, Blinken made this “crystal clear” during a meeting on Friday.

He “emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the official said.

Blinken “also reiterated our strong condemnation of Russia’s gratuitous war against Ukraine, and he stressed the implications if China provided material support for the Russian invasion or participated in wholesale sanctions,” they said.

In recent weeks, President Vladimir Putin has described Chinese President Xi Jinping – a key ally of his – as having questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine. But officials gave no indication that the meeting left Blinken without any expectation that China plans to take action against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I think China’s position, good or bad, is pretty clear and consistent and we’ve seen that through public comments,” the official said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said last Friday she believes the relationship between Moscow and Beijing is one of “convenience, not necessarily trust or a relationship that will combine efforts their power over everything.”

“This is not a marriage that is fulfilling in every way, in every form, but they will certainly work together, but they will also benefit each other,” Sherman said in a conversation with Washington Post Live.

“It is quite interesting that President Putin made the remark that he knows that Xi Jinping has concerns about what he is doing in Ukraine,” she said. “It’s very interesting for Putin to say that.”

Sherman said that she is “sure that Xi Jinping is looking for an advantage while Russia continues its gratuitous, premeditated and terrifying invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign country”.

“Xi Jinping has repeatedly talked about sovereignty and territorial integrity so this is not in line with the principles he wants for his position, whether it’s about Hong Kong, Tibet,” she said. or Taiwan.

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