Chinese President Jinping meets Blinken; says agreement reached on “specific issues”
Earlier, uncertainty prevailed over the Jinping-Blinken meeting, highlighting the tense US-China relations. Photo: Twitter

Chinese President Jinping meets Blinken; says agreement reached on “specific issues”

China and the US have reportedly struck an agreement on “some specific issues” during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

After hours of uncertainty, Blinken met Jinping on the last day of his two-day high-stakes visit during which the Chinese president spoke of an agreement without providing any details. Blinken is the highest-level US official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office, and the first secretary of state to make the trip in five years.

Also read: Blinken arrives in Beijing on high-stakes mission to cool soaring US-China tensions

In his opening remarks, Jinping said that China’s top diplomat and Director of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Qin Gang described their talks with Blinken as candid and in-depth.

Mutual respect, sincerity must: Jinping

Jinping said China has made its position clear and both sides had reached an agreement on “some specific issues” but did not elaborate.

The Chinese side has made its position clear, and the two sides have agreed to “follow through with the common understanding President Joe Biden and I had reached in Bali,” state-run CGTN quoted President Jinping as saying.

“The two sides also made progress and reached an agreement on some specific issues,” Jinping said.

“State-to-state interactions should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity. I hope that Secretary Blinken, through this visit, could make a positive contribution to stabilising China-US relations,” he said.

Earlier, uncertainty prevailed over the Jinping-Blinken meeting, highlighting the tense US-China relations.

A failure to schedule a face-to-face meeting would have been seen by Washington as a slight, breaking with a number of previous visits from top American diplomats, CNN reported.
The meeting finally happened following Blinken’s three-hour-long meeting with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, who is regarded as Jinping’s top foreign policy advisor.

Jinping stresses on stable China-US ties

Jinping told Blinken that the world needs a generally stable China-US relationship, and whether the two countries can find the right way to get along bears on the future of humanity.

Stating that the Chinese, just like the Americans are dignified, confident and self-reliant people, and have the right to pursue a better life, the Chinese President stressed that the common interests of the two countries should be valued and their respective success is an opportunity instead of a threat to each other.

According to the official press release, Jinping said the two countries should act with a sense of responsibility for history, for the people and for the world, and handle China-US relations properly.

Jinping stressed that major-country competition does not represent the trend of the times, still less can it solve America’s own problems or the challenges facing the world.

China not a competitor to US: Jinping

Refuting the US perception that China is a competitor, Jinping said China respects US interests and does not seek to challenge or displace it.

“In the same vein, the US needs to respect China and must not hurt China’s legitimate rights and interests. Neither side should try to shape the other side by its own will, still less deprive the other side of its legitimate right to development,” Jinping was quoted as saying.

Blinken’s visit to China was among the key outcomes of the Jinping-Biden meeting in Bali in which they agreed to work on improving ties.

Also read: Chinese ‘spy balloon’ may remain in US skies for a while; Blinken cancels trip

In his meeting with Blinken, Wang urged the US to “reflect deeply” and manage differences with China while attributing worsening ties to Washington’s “erroneous perception” of Beijing.
Wang told Blinken that his trip to Beijing came at a critical juncture in US-China ties and it was necessary to make a choice between dialogue and confrontation, cooperation and conflict.

“Sino-US relations have experienced ups and downs, and it is necessary for the US to reflect deeply and work with China to jointly manage differences and avoid strategic surprises,” he said.

China seeks to reverse downward spiral of ties with US

“With an attitude of being responsible to the people, history and the world, we must reverse the downward spiral of Sino-US relations, push for a return to a healthy and stable track and work together to find a correct way for China and the United States to get along in the new era,” he said.

Wang also urged the US not to assume China was seeking dominance, and not to misjudge Beijing based on the trajectories of traditional Western powers.

“This is key as to whether the US policy towards China can truly return to objectivity and rationality,” Wang said, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Wang also called for the US to lift unilateral sanctions against China, stop the suppression of China’s technological development, and not interfere in Beijing’s internal affairs.

According to the Chinese statement on the meeting, Blinken shared Washington’s views with Wang, adding that the US looked forward to strengthening communication with China and managing differences responsibly.

Qin in his several rounds of talks with Blinken on Sunday pointed out that the China-US relationship is at the lowest point since its establishment.

This does not serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples or meet the shared expectations of the international community. China’s policy toward the US remains consistent and stable, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said.

Also read: Blinken warns China against aiding Russia, condemns spy balloon

Qin told Blinken that China is committed to building a stable, predictable and constructive relationship with the US. “China hopes that the US will adopt an objective and rational perception of China, work with China in the same direction, uphold the political foundation of China-US relations, and handle unexpected and sporadic events in a calm, professional and rational manner,” he said.

He was apparently referring to the US move to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon flying in American airspace.

The Taiwan issue

Qin, while highlighting China’s firm position on Taiwan, insisted that Washington should not support Taiwan’s independence forces, namely the present Taiwanese government headed by President Tsai-Ing-wen.

Qin pointed out that the Taiwan question is the core of China’s core interests, the most consequential issue and the most pronounced risk in the China-US relationship and the US side should abide by the one-China principle.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to reunify the self-ruled island with the mainland.

Addressing a news conference at the end of his visit here, Blinken said that both sides recognised the need to work to stabilise the bilateral relationship.

We’ve made progress, moving forward: Blinken

“I came to Beijing to strengthen high-level channels of communication, to make clear our positions and intentions in areas of disagreement, and to explore areas where we might work together on our interests, align on shared transnational challenges, and we did all of that,” Blinken said.

“We’re not going to have success on every issue between us on any given day, but in a whole variety of areas, on the terms that we set for this trip, we have made progress and we are moving forward,” he said.

Blinken also repeatedly noted that he sought to clarify the US economic stance toward China in his meetings with top Chinese officials and to emphasise that the US is not seeking to contain China economically.

On Taiwan, Blinken reiterated the longstanding US One-China policy, saying that policy has not changed. He said that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence, but added that there is rising concern about China’s “provocative actions”.

Also read: US sending ‘dangerous signals’ on Taiwan, China tells US’ state secretary Blinken

Blinken’s visit is expected to usher in a new round of visits by top US and Chinese officials, possibly including a meeting between Jinping and Biden in the coming months.

His visit also comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington and his meeting with President Biden on June 22. Their talks are expected to include deepening defence cooperation and firming up the Quad alliance of the US, India, Australia and Japan, which China alleges is aimed at containing it.

(With inputs from agencies)

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