Fri. May 17th, 2024

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that escalating US pressure could lead to a “downward spiral” in US-China relations. The discussions addressed key issues, including China’s support for Russia and US economic pressures.

Blinken, who visited China for the second time in less than a year, held more than five hours of extensive talks with Wang, highlighting the significance of maintaining stable relations between the world’s top two economies.

Chinese state media reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping met Blinken, indicating the high-level nature of the talks. However, details of the meeting were not immediately disclosed. Blinken’s visit comes at a time when China is concerned about US policies, especially regarding semiconductor export bans and growing scrutiny over Chinese-owned tech companies like TikTok. Wang Yi urged the US to respect China’s “core interests” and stated that legitimate development rights have been suppressed.

Wang warned Blinken about the negative trends in US-China relations, emphasizing that both nations needed to steer clear of missteps that could lead to further deterioration. He questioned whether the relationship would continue to stabilize or regress into a downward spiral. Wang’s statement reflected China’s dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s approach, particularly in areas such as trade and technology.

Despite the warnings, US officials believe Xi’s immediate focus is on stabilizing China’s economy amid domestic headwinds. Blinken raised concerns with Wang about China’s support for Russia, as the latter continues its military campaign in Ukraine. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Blinken highlighted the importance of managing the US-China relationship responsibly and urged open communication to avoid misunderstandings or miscalculations.

The discussions also touched on other critical issues, including Taiwan, where Blinken asked China to remain calm ahead of the upcoming inauguration of Taiwan’s new president. Additionally, the US urged China to use its influence over Iran to de-escalate tensions with Israel. Blinken reiterated the importance of addressing these issues to ensure global stability, noting that the US-China relationship has far-reaching implications.

As the Biden administration continues to balance diplomacy and pressure on China, it faces significant challenges in managing the complex relationship. The US Congress recently supported a move to divest TikTok from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or risk a ban in the US. This measure, along with ongoing export restrictions, underscores the growing scrutiny of Chinese tech companies in the US. The outcome of these high-level talks could set the tone for US-China relations in the coming months, with both sides aiming to avoid further escalation while addressing key differences.

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