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US and Chinese Senior Diplomats Undertake ‘Productive’ First Discussions in Months

After an unusually long meeting intended to stop the escalation of bilateral tensions, the United States and China stated Saturday that they had productive discussions.

On the Indonesian island of Bali, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke for the first time since October as the two countries pushed up their cooperation at a time when the West is preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Despite the complexity of our relationship, Blinken remarked after five hours of conversations, “I can say with some confidence that our delegations found today’s discussions beneficial, candid, and constructive.”

“For both of our nations and the rest of the globe, the relationship between the US and China is of great importance. We pledge to handle this relationship and the rivalry in a responsible manner “He declared, pledging to maintain diplomatic contacts with Beijing open.

In addition to listing a long list of grievances against Washington, China’s foreign ministry claimed that the two countries had generally agreed to cooperate to improve relations. It also accused the United States of “smearing and assaulting” its political system.

“Both sides think that this dialogue is meaningful and productive, which will assist improve understanding between the two parties, lessen misunderstandings and misperceptions, and create the environment for future high-level encounters between the two nations,” it was noted.

The two held morning meetings before having a working lunch. The meeting’s main topics included avoiding accidental conflict as well as Washington’s opposition to Beijing on several issues, including Taiwan and human rights.

Blinken stated that “I highlighted significant concerns of the United States on Beijing’s escalating provocative rhetoric and activity towards Taiwan and the crucial need of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”


He expressed concerns about Ukraine as well, pressing Wang on Beijing’s covert backing for Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour and urging it to cut ties with Russia a day after the Kremlin’s top diplomat came under fire from the West at the G20 conference.

“This really is a moment where we all have to stand up, as we heard country after nation in the G20 does,” Blinken said. He added that among other things, this calls for Russia to grant access to food that is trapped in Ukraine.

US officials have expressed cautious optimism on China’s stance on Ukraine, criticizing its verbal support for Russia but failing to detect any evidence that Beijing is actually doing anything to support its comments.

Before the meeting, Wang told reporters that Chinese President Xi Jinping thought there should be “regular exchanges” between the two biggest economic powers in the world to foster collaboration and “mutual respect.”

Wang remarked in front of the flags of the US and China, “We do need to work together to ensure that this partnership will continue to go forward along the correct route.”

A tone of moderation- It was Blinken and Wang’s first in-person meeting in months, and they are expected to get ready for a series of video conferences between Presidents Xi and Joe Biden in the coming weeks as both countries step up their engagement and temper their rhetoric.

After a protracted silence caused by the pandemic between the two nations, their top military commanders, national security, and finance ministers have all talked publicly since last month.

The increased diplomacy “underscored the two sides’ unanimity on avoiding further confrontation,” according to the state-run Global Times in China, which is well known for its criticism of the United States.

The US has stiffened its posture toward China in recent years, and Biden has essentially upheld the core of his predecessor Donald Trump’s harsh strategy of viewing Beijing as the US’s major rival on the international stage.

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But Blinken recently stated in a speech that the United States was not seeking a new “Cold War,” despite his continued criticism of Beijing, which he repeated after the discussions on Saturday. He also accused Beijing of committing genocide against the Uyghur people, who are primarily Muslims.

The Biden administration is widely anticipated to soon lower some of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, a move that might reduce the nation’s surging inflation, which has turned into a significant political liability.

At the National Congress of the Communist Party later this year, Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, is anticipated to reorganize the foreign policy team.

However, Craig Singleton, a hawkish Washington-based analyst who monitors China, predicted that Xi would once more choose technocrats who can cooperate with the White House.

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