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China warns U.S. of ‘downward spiral’ as Blinken meets with Xi Jinping

HONG KONG — Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday as he wrapped up a three-day visit to China dominated by contentious issues and warnings from his hosts of another “downward spiral.” in relationships.

The two met on Friday afternoon local time at the Great Hall of the People, an ornate and cavernous building next to Tiananmen Square.

Blinken told Xi that President Joe Biden sent him to China to “seek to deepen areas of cooperation as well as to responsibly manage the differences that we have.”

Xi noted that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and said the two countries “should be partners rather than adversaries.”

“The world is big enough to accommodate the simultaneous development and prosperity of China and the United States,” he said, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, adding that relations between the United States and China would stabilize once the United States adopted “a positive and constructive attitude.” vision of China’s development.

It is Blinken’s second visit in less than a year, as the two superpowers work to stabilize relations by resuming negotiations despite a growing list of geopolitical differences.

One of the main goals of Blinken’s visit to China was to warn against its support for Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began weeks after Moscow and Beijing declared a “no holds barred” partnership. in 2022. Although China does not appear to be providing Russia with lethal assistance, Blinken said last week that it was providing machine tools, semiconductors and other dual-use items that make it ” main contributor” to Russia’s defense industrial base.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday in Beijing. Mark Schiefelbein / AFP – Getty Images

Other issues on the agenda included Chinese economic and trade practices that the United States considers unfair, Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, stability in the Taiwan Strait, nuclear and missile programs of North Korea and the war between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier Friday, Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where foreign dignitaries are often received.

“There is no substitute, in our view, for face-to-face diplomacy to try to move forward, but also to make sure that we are as clear as possible on the areas where we have differences, at a minimum. to avoid misunderstandings, to avoid miscalculations,” Blinken told Wang before the meeting.

Speaking through an interpreter before the meeting, Wang said the U.S.-China relationship “has had its ups and downs, twists and turns.”

He said the relationship was starting to stabilize but the “negative factors” were increasing.

“China’s legitimate development rights have been unreasonably suppressed and our core interests face challenges,” Wang said, apparently referring to U.S. export controls and other measures that Beijing says are aimed at limit its economic growth.

“Should China and the United States continue in the right direction, toward stability, or return to a downward spiral? he said. “This is a major issue for both our countries.”

Blinken later described his meeting with Wang, which lasted more than three hours, as “thorough and constructive.”

According to a State Department statement, the two discussed next steps on a series of commitments Biden and Xi made at their summit in California in November, including advancing counter-terrorism cooperation. narcotics, communication between military personnel, discussions on the risks linked to artificial intelligence and security and facilitating exchanges between people.

The summit, the first meeting between the two leaders in a year, aimed to stabilize US-China relations which had reached their lowest point in decades amid disputes over trade, technology, the status of Taiwan and the logging of a suspected Chinese spy balloon. on American territory.

Although ties have improved since then, they are being tested by strengthening U.S. security alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. concerns about Chinese goods flooding global markets, U.S. investigations on electric vehicles, shipbuilding and other Chinese industries, the possibility of an intensification of trade relations between the United States and the United States. tariffs on Chinese products and the passage of legislation this week that could lead to a US ban on the Chinese app TikTok.

The legislation, which Biden signed into law Wednesday as Blinken was arriving in China, also includes $8 billion for security in Taiwan, a self-governing island democracy that Beijing claims as its territory, and in the broader Indo-Pacific, where United States and China compete for influence.

Blinken last visited China in June, when he also met with Xi. That trip also included a stop in Shanghai, where Blinken met with U.S. business leaders and visited New York University’s Shanghai campus.

News Source :
Gn world

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