US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gets dressing down from his Chinese counterpart and President Xi during meeting in Beijing
The US should respect the One China principle and stop supporting Taiwan’s push for independence from Beijing, Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“China has no room to compromise or concede” on the status of Taiwan, Wang told Blinken during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on Monday.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi shakes hands with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting in Beijing. © AFP / Leah Millis
“The US must truly adhere to the One China principle… respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and clearly oppose ‘Taiwan independence’,” the director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission office of the Chinese Communist Party was quoted by local media as saying.
Washington’s support for sovereignty in Taiwan, a self-governed island of 23.5 million which Beijing views as part of its territory, has been among the issues aggravating tensions between China and the US in recent years.
According to Wang, bilateral relations have now reached “a critical juncture.” He told Blinken that Washington needs to make a choice “between dialogue or confrontation, cooperation or conflict” with Beijing.
“We must take a responsible attitude toward the people, history and the world, and reverse the downward spiral of US-China relations,” he said.
China’s top diplomat also called upon the Biden administration to stop making threats towards Beijing and abandon its“suppression” of Chinese scientific and technological development.
According to the US State Department, Blinken stressed the importance of “responsibly managing the competition”between the US and China “through open channels of communication to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”
He also told Wang that Washington will “continue to use diplomacy to raise areas of concern and stand up for the interests and values of the American people.”
Following his meeting with Wang, Blinken held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Planet Earth is big enough to accommodate the respective development and common prosperity of China and the US,”Xi told Blinken, according to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The Chinese leader said that the world is interested in “generally stable” ties between Beijing and Washington, because “whether the two countries can find the right way to get along bears on the future and destiny of humanity.”
The international community expects China and the US to “coexist in peace and have friendly and cooperative relations,” and doesn’t want to choose sides in the event of a conflict, Xi stated.
The Chinese president argued that competition with Beijing would not help Washington to solve America’s domestic problems or the challenges currently facing the world. “China respects US interests and does not seek to challenge or displace the US,” Xi stressed, adding that Beijing expects the same approach from the Biden administration.
Xi called on the US to adopt a rational and pragmatic attitude towards China, and to jointly work on improving ties and making the global situation more stable.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Blinken had assured Xi during their 35-minute talk that the US does not seek conflict or a new Cold War with Beijing, and has no intention of trying to change China’s political system.
Washington expects to continue high-level engagement with Beijing, while keeping lines of communication open and managing differences responsibly, the top US diplomat said, according to the Chinese statement.
His two-day visit also included negotiations with China’s recently appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.
Blinken is the first US secretary of state to meet Xi since 2018.
His trip was initially scheduled to take place in February, but was postponed due to the so-called “spy balloon” incident. Washington claimed it shot down a Chinese surveillance aircraft over its territory, while Beijing said it was merely a weather balloon, which had strayed into American airspace by accident.