Following meetings, the United States and China pledged to repair their strained relationship.
Following US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s two-day visit to Beijing, the US and China have agreed to repair their strained relationship.
On Monday, Mr Blinken met with China’s President Xi Jinping for talks, resuming high-level engagement between the opposing nations.
Mr. Xi stated that they had made progress, and Mr. Blinken stated that both parties were open to future discussions.
However, the top US official made it plain that significant divisions persisted.
“I stressed that… sustained communication at senior levels is the best way to responsibly manage differences and ensure that competition does not veer into conflict,” Mr Blinken said after the 35-minute discussion at Tiananmen Square’s Great Hall of the People.
“I heard the same thing from my Chinese counterparts,” he explained. “We both agree that our relationship needs to be stabilized.”
However, Mr Blinken, 61, stated that he is “clear-eyed” about China and that there are “many issues on which we profoundly – even vehemently – disagree.”
Relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated as a result of Trump’s trade war, Beijing’s strong claims over Taiwan, and the earlier this year shooting down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the US.
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But, following Mr Blinken’s visit, the first by a top US diplomat to China in nearly five years, Mr Xi signalled relations could be improving.
“The two sides have also made progress and reached agreement on some specific issues,” he stated, according to a transcript supplied by the US State Department. “This is very good.”
Mr Blinken’s meeting with Mr Xi was unexpected and was disclosed about an hour before it took place.
It would have been widely perceived as a snub if it had not occurred, especially because Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met Mr Xi earlier this week in Beijing.
Instead, the Americans will be able to claim to the secretary’s visit, which included discussions with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Qin Gang, as a successful re-engagement with the Chinese government following months of strained relations.
Mr. Xi was also informing his countrymen that his government was reaching out to Washington.
He warned his visitor that the entire community was concerned about Sino-US relations, which would affect “humanity’s future destiny.”
Mr. Blinken agreed that communication between the two countries was “absolutely critical.”
“This is something we’re going to keep working on,” he explained.
US President Joe Biden and other US officials have stated that they see the Chinese as rivals and competitors rather than foes. It is, however, a narrow line to walk as competition – both militarily and economically – heats up.
Taiwan is the most contentious issue between the two countries, and it has the most potential for escalation.
Mr Wang called it a “no-compromise” issue, while Mr Gang labeled it “the most important issue in China-US relations and the most prominent risk.”
China regards self-ruled Taiwan as a renegade province, and Mr Xi has stated that he intends to bring Taiwan under Beijing’s control during his presidency, if necessary through force.
Taiwan, on the other hand, regards itself as distinct from the Chinese mainland, with its own constitution and leaders. US President Joe Biden stated last year that the US would defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese assault, which Beijing criticized.
However, the US has emphasized its One China policy, which states that there is only one Chinese government.
“That policy has not changed,” said Mr Blinken on Monday. “We do not support Taiwanese independence.”