US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in China to maintain fragile relationship

The United States and China are talking to each other, and that’s already it: in a tense, even conflictual relationship on many subjects, the visit of the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to Shanghai then to Beijing allows us to maintain the dialogue. In a positive sign, Mr. Blinken was finally received, Friday April 26, by the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, who adopted a relatively conciliatory tone: China is happy to see a confident, open, prosperous and flourishing United States. We hope that the United States can also view China’s development from a positive perspective.”, said the Chinese president, according to local state media. A reference to what China sees as efforts to“containment” American, preventing its economic and technological development.

In the morning, Mr. Blinken spoke for five hours with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, who had already addressed this theme, in a harsher tone: “The United States has adopted a series of measures aimed at preventing the development of China’s economy, trade, science and technology. This is not fair competition, it is containment. This will not eliminate risks, but create more “, warned the head of Chinese diplomacy, evoking the risk of entering into a “negative spiral “.

For his part, Mr. Blinken indicated that he had expressed to Mr. Xi his concerns regarding China’s support for Russia, which involves the supply of materials, components and machine tools essential to the effort. Russian war against Ukraine. “Russia would find it difficult to continue its assault on Ukraine without support from China”, Mr. Blinken told reporters after his meeting with Mr. Xi. He also addressed the question of Taiwan, which Beijing dreams of annexing, and the tensions in the South China Sea, the opportunity to reaffirm support ” flawless “ from the United States to the Philippines, an American ally in the region.

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However, he underlined the importance of dialogue, particularly military dialogue, which resumed following Xi Jinping’s meeting with Joe Biden in San Francisco in November 2023. “We are determined to maintain and strengthen the lines of communication to advance this agenda, and, once again, to manage our differences responsibly to avoid any miscommunication, perception or miscalculation.”, said Mr. Blinken. This is indeed a step forward: China, which had largely cut itself off from the world during the “Covid years”, had suspended dialogue between staffs in reaction to the visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. American representatives, in August 2022. At the beginning of 2023, attempts to reestablish exchanges were cut short after the affair of the Chinese spy balloon drifting above the American sky, finally shot down by the US Air Force. Washington is in favor of a firm relationship with Beijing, while keeping communication channels open to avoid any uncontrolled slippage.

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source site-29