In Beijing, Blinken and Xi emphasize the need for continued dialogue between the US and China to avoid “any kind of miscommunication”

Beijing – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and senior Chinese officials on Friday, warning of the dangers of misunderstandings and miscalculations as the United States and China clashed over a number of controversial bilateral, regional and global issues. Blinken met with Xi in Beijing after 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 widened.

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

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits China
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 26, 2024.

Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/REUTERS


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

Their comments pointed to a long list of differences that needed to be discussed, including Taiwan and the South Chinese Ocean, trade And human rightsChina support for Russia and production and export of synthetic opioid precursors.

“Overall, the China-US relationship is starting to stabilize,” Wang told Blinken at the start of about 5.5 hours of talks. “But at the same time, the negative factors in the relationship are still increasing and increasing and the relationship is facing all kinds of disruptions.”

“Should China and the United States continue to move in the right direction to move forward with stability or should they return to a downward spiral?” he asked. “This is an important question for our two countries and tests our sincerity and competence.”

“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 for each other's core interests and urge the United States not to interfere in China's internal affairs, not to obstruct China's development, and not to push China's red lines on China's sovereignty and security. and development interests.”


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Blinken responded by saying the Biden administration places a premium on U.S.-China dialogue, even when it comes to points of contention. He noted that some progress had been made over the past year, but suggested that talks would remain difficult.

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

“There is no substitute in our judgment for personal diplomacy to try to make progress, but also to ensure that we are as clear as possible about the areas where we have disagreements to avoid misunderstandings. to avoid miscalculations,” he said.

The State Department later said Blinken and Wang had “in-depth, substantive and constructive discussions on areas of disagreement and areas of cooperation” and made clear that Blinken had stood his ground on US concerns.

Blinken “stressed that the United States will continue to stand up for our interests and values ​​and those of our allies and partners, including on human rights and economic issues,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Blinken arrived in China on Wednesday and visited Shanghai shortly before Mr. Biden signed the $95 billion foreign aid package That has several elements likely to anger Beijing, including $8 billion to counter China's growing aggression toward Taiwan and in the South China Sea. It also strives for it Forcing TikTok's China-based parent company to sell the social media platform.


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

China has spoken out against US aid to Taiwan and immediately condemned the aid as a dangerous provocation. It also strongly opposes attempts to force the sale of TikTok.

The bill also provides $61 billion for Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian invasion. The Biden administration has loudly complained that Chinese support for Russia's military-industrial sector has allowed Moscow to undermine Western sanctions and step up attacks on Ukraine.

U.S. officials have said China's ties with Russia would be a key topic of discussion during Blinken's visit, and just before Friday's meetings began, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would visit China in May.

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