US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been received for talks by China's President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, despite the mounting tension between the two superpowers. Xi spoke about “progress” in Sino-US relations, and said they have "reached certain agreements" regarding some issues. The Chinese state media aired footage of the meeting with President Xi, with Blinken also having lengthy conversations with China's top diplomat Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Before the meeting, the protocol-breaking event was only speculated to happen.
Hopes for Stable Relations
Xi had hoped that Blinken’s visit would "make a positive contribution to the stabilization of relations between China and the US." He stated that interactions between states should always occur on the foundation of mutual respect and seriousness.
Intensive Talks on Controversial Issues
Yesterday, Blinken had discussed for over 7 hours with Foreign Minister Qin. The officials agreed to resume diplomatic talks, with the aim of reducing the chances of conflict between China and the US. The American official also conversed with Wang and held discussions for about three hours.
During their meeting, Wang expressed that the Taiwan issue was not up for compromise. "In this matter, China has no room for compromise or concessions," the Chinese diplomat asserted. He emphasized the importance of the US "following the One China principle, respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and clearly opposing 'Taiwan independence.'" According to CCTV, Chinese state media, during the meeting, Wang urged the US to opt for dialogue and cooperation instead of confrontation.
US-China relations have been largely strained in recent years due to an array of issues such as trade, human rights, and Taiwan. The rising conflict between the two superpowers is a major concern. It is also noteworthy that this is the first time a US Secretary of State has visited China in the past five years. Blinken’s trip was previously scheduled for February but was postponed after the Chinese were accused of spying on America.