China and the US try to ease rising tensions across many fronts


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NUSA DUA – US Secretary of State Antony BlinkenHis Chinese counterpart met him on Saturday to renew efforts to control or at least manage the rampant hostility which has defined recent relations between Washington, Beijing and now the conflict in Ukraine.
Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang YiThey held five hours of talks in Bali, Indonesia, the day after attending a meeting of high-ranking diplomats from the Group of 20 rich or large developing countries. The meeting ended without any joint call to end Russia’s war in Ukraine and to plan how to address its impact on food security and energy security.
Blinken, however, stated that Russia was left from the G-20 meeting in isolation and alone because most participants were opposed to the Ukraine war. The ministers could not agree on a G-20 unity call to end the conflict.
“There was a strong consensus and Russia was left isolated,” Blinken said of individual condemnations of Russia’s actions from various ministers, some of whom shunned conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
He observed that Lavrov left the meeting early due to his dislike of what he was hearing about his counterparts.
“It was very important that he heard loudly and clearly from around the world condemnation of Russia’s aggression,” Blinken said, adding: “We see no signs whatsoever that Russia at his point is prepared to engage in diplomacy.”
Blinken stated that he had discussed with Wang a variety of contentious issues, including trade and tariffs. Taiwanand disputes in South China Sea, all of which have been made more complicated by China’s position on Ukraine.
Two days prior, the top military officers of both countries had met over Taiwan in a virtual meeting.
Blinken claimed that Beijing claims an autonomous island as its territory. This was just one of several problematic issues.
He said he stressed US concerns with China’s “increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity near Taiwan and the vital importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.
He also said that he has raised human rights concerns about minorities in Tibet, and the western Xinjiang area.
Going into the talks, Wang said “it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges” and “to work together to ensure that this relationship will continue to move forward along the right track”.
He echoed frequent Chinese lines about remaining committed to the principles of “mutual respect”, “peaceful coexistence” and “win-win cooperation”.
He said that this “serves both the interests of the two nations and the two peoples”. It is also the shared aspiration of the international community”.
US officials stated ahead of time that they do not expect breakthroughs in Blinken’s talks to Wang. But they said they were hopeful the conversation can help keep lines of communications open and create “guardrails” to guide the world’s two largest economies as they navigate increasingly complex and potentially explosive matters.
“We’re committed to managing this relationship, this competition responsibly as the world expects us to do,” Blinken said.
China and the United States have taken increasingly hostile positions on Ukraine. Some fear that this could lead to miscalculations and conflict.
The US watched closely as China refused to condemn the Russian invasion. While condemning Western sanctions against Russia, and accusing the US of being complicit in the attack, NATOOf provoking conflict.
“We are concerned about the PRC’s alignment with Russia,” Blinken said, adding that he did not accept Chinese protestations that it is neutral in the Ukraine conflict. “I don’t believe China is acting in a way that is neutral.”
The BidenAdministration hoped that China, which has a long history of opposing interference in its internal affairs, would be able to take the same position as Russia and Ukraine. However, China has not taken the same position with Russia and Ukraine as it had hoped, instead choosing to adopt a hybrid position that US officials considers dangerous to international rules-based order.
At the G-20 meeting, Wang made an oblique reference to China’s policy on global stability, saying “to place one’s own security above the security of others and intensify military blocs will only split the international community and make oneself less secure”, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
On Thursday, Gen. Li Zuocheng, China’s chairman of the joint chiefss of staff, criticized his American counterpart Gen. Mark Milley for Washington’s support Taiwan.
Li demanded that the US cease military “collusion” with Taiwan, saying China has “no room for compromise” on issues affecting its “core interests”, which include self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
“China demands the US … cease reversing history, cease US-Taiwan military collusion and avoid impacting China-US ties and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Li said.
At the same time, Li was also quoted in a Defence Ministry news release as saying China hoped to “further strengthen dialogue, handle risks, and promote cooperation, rather than deliberately creating confrontation, provoking incidents and becoming mutually exclusive”.
China routinely fly warplanes over Taiwan to advertise threats to attack. On Friday morning, the Defense Ministry of Taiwan stated that a Chinese aircraft had crossed the Taiwan Strait middle line dividing the two sides.
Li and Milley met after Wei Fenghe, China’s Defense Minister, made a fiery statement at a conference on regional security last month. US Secretary Of Defense Lloyd Austin was also present.
Wei accused the United States of trying to “hijack” the support of countries in the Asia-Pacific region to turn them against Beijing, saying Washington is seeking to advance its own interests “under the guise of multilateralism”.
Austin also spoke at the Singapore meeting and said that China was creating instability through its claim to Taiwan, as well as its increased military activity.
In May, Blinken incurred Chinese wrath by calling the country the “most serious long-term challenge to the international order” for the United States, with its claims to Taiwan and efforts to dominate the strategic South China Sea.
The US and its allies have responded with what they term “freedom of navigation” patrols in the South China Sea, prompting angry responses from Beijing.


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