Monday, September 25, 2023

Xi Jinping sees ‘progress’ in China-US ties in meeting with Anthony Blinken -Dlight News

The US and China have made “progress” towards stabilizing faltering bilateral ties, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared on Monday as he held a long-delayed meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Xi’s comments represent the strongest sign yet that Beijing is willing to consider a truce in its increasingly tense relationship with Washington.

Speaking at the Great Hall of the People alongside Blinken, the first US Secretary of State to visit the Chinese capital since 2018, Xi said whether China and the US could get together had “impact on the future and destiny of mankind”.

“Both countries should properly handle Sino-US relations with the attitude of being responsible to history, people and the world,” Xi said.

Xi added that the two sides had “made progress and reached agreement on some specific issues” in extensive talks between senior Chinese officials and Blinken during the two-day visit.

Speaking during a visit to California on Monday, US President Joe Biden said Blinken had done a “hell of a job” in China. “We are on the right track here,” he told reporters.

Asked if he thought the US And China has made progress in seats, Biden responded: “I ‘don’t think so’. You know it’s made.”

Blinken told reporters after the meeting that he agreed both countries had a “responsibility to manage this relationship responsibly”.

“It was clear that the relationship was at a point of instability and both sides recognized the need to work to stabilize it,” he said, adding that this meant “establishing better lines of communication to ensure competition does not come into conflict. ” “

“It’s in the United States’ interest to do that, it’s in China’s interest to do that, it’s in the world’s interest, and I think we’ve taken a positive step in that direction over the last few days,” Blinken added. .

He was due to go to Beijing earlier this year. But the trip was put on hold after an alleged Chinese spy balloon flew over sensitive military sites in the US before being shot down in February.

Relations between the countries have been strained as the US worries about China’s growing military activity around Taiwan and its refusal to condemn Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing, meanwhile, accuses Washington of imposing export restrictions on advanced technology and strengthening security arrangements with allies to contain China’s strategic ambitions.

John Delury, a China expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, said that while Blinken’s talks in Beijing lacked substance — there were no “big-ticket items” under negotiation other than agreeing to talk — it was a measure of deterioration. relationship

“It’s a symptom of how bad relations have become that talking is an achievement, that meeting with your counterparts is almost a sign of political courage,” said Dealey.

The Biden administration is eager to restore and open channels of communication with Beijing to reduce the risk of what he calls “disillusionment and miscalculation” in relations.

China, meanwhile, is wrestling with flagging economic growth and worsening foreign investment sentiment fueled by tensions with the US.

Blinken said Monday that one priority is promoting military-to-military communications. This follows close calls between Chinese and US aircraft and ships near Taiwan and the South China Sea.

“This is also something I brought up over and over again during this trip,” Blinken said. “It’s absolutely critical that we have these types of communications.”

But even a top US diplomat admitted there was “no immediate progress” on the issue.

Xi told Blinken that China respects US interests and “will not challenge or replace the United States”.

“Similarly, the United States must also respect China and not harm China’s legitimate rights and interests. Neither side can shape the other according to its own will, let alone deprive the other of its legitimate right to development,” the Chinese president said.

Blinken argued that the US It is not trying to “contain” China or isolate it from its economy but is taking targeted steps to block technology that could aid China’s security-focused programs, such as the development of nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles.

“How is it in our interest to provide those specific technologies to China?” he said. “We can, we will and we must take the necessary steps to protect our national security. If the shoe were on the other foot, I have no doubt that China would do exactly the same.”

Blinken’s meeting with Xi followed talks with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, who called on Washington and Beijing to reverse a “downward spiral” in relations.

Blinken also had a five-and-a-half-hour conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday.

Blinken and Qin agreed to “effectively manage differences and advance dialogue, exchange and cooperation”, including increasing the number of people-to-people exchanges and flights between their countries, Chinese state media said.

Analysts said efforts to restart dialogue could help pave the way for a face-to-face meeting between Xi and Biden during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum summit in the US in November.

Additional reporting by Mikey Ding in Beijing

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