IN BEIJING, ANTHONY BLINKEN MEETS XI JINPING TO “STABILIZE” CHINA-US RELATIONS
On Monday, the US Secretary of State met with the Chinese President in a bid to ease relations between Beijing and Washington, at a time of growing tensions between the two countries. Both sides stressed, however, that certain disagreements remain deep-rooted.
Confirmed at the last minute, the meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, currently in China, and Xi Jinping has begun. The meeting is taking place against a backdrop of tensions between the two powers.
It comes on the second and final day of Blinken’s visit, the first in nearly five years for an American Secretary of State. Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday he hoped the visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would bring a “positive result” and improve relations between the two powers, state media reported.
“I hope that, through this visit, Secretary Blinken will bring a positive result to the stabilization of relations between China and the United States,” Xi Jinping was quoted as saying by English-language state television CGTN.
Choosing between “cooperation and conflict
In addition to the thorny question of ties between the United States and Taiwan, an island claimed by Beijing and at the heart of disputes between the two powers, bilateral relations remain tense on a large number of issues.
These include technology rivalry, US sanctions targeting Chinese digital giants, trade, the treatment of China’s Muslim Uighur minority and Chinese claims in the South China Sea.
On Monday morning, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) top diplomatic official, Wang Yi, didn’t hesitate to tell US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that a choice had to be made between “cooperation and conflict”. “It is necessary to make a choice between dialogue and confrontation, cooperation and conflict”, he stressed.
“Mr. Secretary of State’s trip to Beijing comes at a critical time in Sino-American relations,” Wang Yi told his interlocutor, according to China’s CCTV television.