US: Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang hold “constructive” talks in Munich

ANI – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held “candid and constructive” discussion during their meeting at the Munich Security Conference on Friday. According to US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, the discussion on the sidelines of the summit touched on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues as part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage competition in the relationship.

While having a “candid and constructive discussion” with Wang in Munich, Blinken raised concern over China supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the State Department’s top spokesman said. The two sides also exchanged views on the situation in West Asia and on the Korean Peninsula and affirmed that their respective senior officials should meet to follow up on these discussions. Blinken emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the South China Sea, Miller said. Friday’s meeting between Blinken and Wang was the first in-person meeting of senior officials of the two countries since Taiwan’s presidential election in mid-January, which was won by Lai Ching-te of the ruling, independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, Kyodo News reported.

Meanwhile, according to Xinhua, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for a “sound, steady, and sustainable development of China-US ties.” During the meeting, the two sides had “candid, substantive, and constructive discussions,” it said. “The two sides should adhere to the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation and actively explore the right way for the two major countries to get along with each other,” Wang said, according to Xinhua.

The United States should view the country’s development “objectively and rationally and abide by the one-China principle if it “genuinely hopes for stability across the Taiwan Strait.” Wang said that the pursuit of turning “de-risking” into “de-sinicization,” building “small yards, high fences,” and “decoupling from China” will eventually backfire on the United States itself, as per the Xinhua report. The Chinese foreign minister also called on Washington to lift illegal unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals. At the Munich Security Conference (MSC), Blinken also raised concerns over China’s “support for Russia’s war against Ukraine, including support to the Russian defence industrial base,” Miller said according to a White House readout.

The US Secretary reiterated that the United States will continue to stand up for its interests and values and those of its allies, Miller said. This is the first meeting between Blinken and Wang since October last year and after the talks held last month. US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan and the Chinese Foreign Minister had held extensive talks in Bangkok last month with the two courites agreeing to “maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage competition in the relationship as directed by the leaders.” Bilateral relations between the two countries had come under strain after US military fighter jets shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States in February 2023.

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