US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi “had a direct and honest exchange on matters related to Taiwan” Friday, a US senior administration official mentioned.
The two diplomats met for almost 90 minutes in New York, and their dialog primarily centered on Taiwan, the official mentioned.
The assembly was held amid a interval of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing and capped a busy week of diplomacy for Blinken on the UN General Assembly, the place he met with a collection of fellow diplomats from world wide and delivered remarks rebuking Russia’s conflict in Ukraine at a UN Security Council assembly Thursday. It additionally got here as Blinken grieves an immense private loss – his father, Donald Blinken, died Thursday night.
According to the official, the assembly with Wang was “extremely candid, direct, constructive and in depth,” and Blinken pressured “the need to maintain open lines of communication so that we can responsibly manage the US-China relationship, especially during times of tension.”
“Clearly, the differences between the United States and China are real, but we recognize the need to manage responsibly those differences and the competition between us,” they mentioned.
Officials have described managing the connection between the US and China as probably the most vital challenges going through the US. Relations between the 2 nations had been made much more rocky following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan in August, after which Beijing elevated its provocations towards the island.
In a speech on the Asia Society Thursday, Wang warned that “as things stand, the Taiwan question is growing into the biggest risk in China-US relations.”
“Should it be mishandled, it is most likely to devastate our bilateral ties,” he mentioned.
US President Joe Biden, in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday, was requested if US forces would defend Taiwan.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” he replied. US officers have mentioned their coverage towards the island has not modified, and in accordance with the senior administration official, Blinken in his assembly Friday made this “crystal clear.”
He “stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the official mentioned.
Blinken “also reiterated our strong condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, and he highlighted the implications if China were to provide material support to Russia’s invasion or engage in wholesale sanctions evasion,” they mentioned.
In current weeks President Vladimir Putin described China’s President Xi Jinping – a key ally to him – as having questions and issues concerning the Ukraine state of affairs. But the officers gave no indication that the assembly left Blinken with any expectation that China plans to take actions to oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I think the Chinese position, for better or for worse, is pretty clear and consistent and we have seen that through public comments,” the official mentioned.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman mentioned final Friday she believes the connection between Moscow and Beijing is one “of convenience, not necessarily one of trust or one that will combine their efforts on all things.”
“This is not a full-flown marriage in all ways, shapes and form, but they are certainly going to work together, but they will also work for advantage with each other,” Sherman mentioned in a dialog with Washington Post Live.
“It was quite interesting that President Putin made a remark that he knew that Xi Jinping had concerns about what he was doing in Ukraine,” she mentioned. “Very interesting for Putin to say that.”
Sherman mentioned she is “sure that Xi Jinping is looking for advantage while Russia is continuing its unprovoked, premeditated and horrifying invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign country.”
“Xi Jinping has constantly talked about sovereignty and territorial integrity so this doesn’t square with the principles he wants for his own views, whether it’s about Hong Kong or Tibet or Taiwan,” she mentioned.