Blinken speaks with the Chinese foreign minister ahead of a high-level visit to Beijing

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke by phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Wednesday.

Hong Kong

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke by phone with China’s foreign minister on Wednesday, which comes ahead of a call. A highly anticipated visit By Washington’s top diplomat Beijing Both the superpowers are trying to improve the poor state of their relations.

In his call with Qin Gang, Blinken discussed the “importance of maintaining communication” to responsibly manage US-China relations to “avoid miscalculations and conflict.”

Blinken also addressed various bilateral and global issues and clarified that “the United States will continue to use diplomatic engagement to elevate areas of concern and areas of potential cooperation.”

China’s reading of the invitation was highly pointed, underscoring the deep mistrust that exists between Beijing and Washington.

Qin told Blinken that the U.S. should “show respect” for China’s key concerns Taiwan problem.

According to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry, Qin urged the US to “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs” and “stop undermining China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.”

Qin said he hoped the United States could meet China halfway, effectively manage differences, stabilize bilateral relations, and improve communication and cooperation to bring the relationship back to the path of “healthy and sustainable development.”

American and Chinese readings of the phone call make no mention of Blinken’s visit. Later on Wednesday, the State Department announced that he would travel to Beijing later this week.

“While in Beijing, Secretary Blinken will meet with senior PRC officials, where he will discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the U.S.-PRC relationship,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“He will raise possible cooperation on bilateral concerns, global and regional issues and shared transnational challenges,” he said.

The announcement comes after meetings between senior US and Chinese officials since last month and US President Joe Biden’s prediction of an “ebb and flow” in relations with Beijing.

Blinken originally planned to visit China in February as the two countries try to strengthen ties following a face-to-face meeting between their leaders in Indonesia last November.

But, due to suspicion, a trip of greater importance was postponed Chinese spy balloon It flew over the continental United States and was later shot down.

Since then, already tense relations between the United States and China have become more acute, with Taiwan, the South China Sea and chip export restrictions fueling tensions.

China’s Communist Party, although it has never ruled Taiwan, demands an autonomous, democratic Taiwan and promises to one day “unify” it with the mainland.

It claims historic jurisdiction over almost the vast South China Sea and has turned small shoals and sandbars into artificial islands heavily fortified with missiles, runways and weapons systems – prompting outcry from other claimants.

In a veiled criticism, according to a Chinese reading report, Qin blamed the United States for heightened tensions in recent months in his call with Blinken.

“Since the beginning of this year, China-US relations have encountered new difficulties and challenges, and the responsibility is clear,” Qin said, adding that China has always handled relations with the US according to the principles of “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence”. and win-win cooperation,” proposed Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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