In Bali, Blinken and Wang adopt a conciliatory tone
The Secretary of State American Anthony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met after a G20 meeting.
Chinese and US foreign ministers Wang Yi and Antony Blinken tried to ease tensions between their respective countries on Saturday in a rare meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali.
In a relationship as complex and important as the one between the United States and China, there are many things to discuss, said Mr. Blinken, as he and Mr. Wang posed in front of the American and Chinese flags in a hotel in Bali, at the start of a morning of discussions followed by a working lunch. We look forward to a productive and constructive conversation, he added.
China and the United States are two big countries, so it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges, Wang replied. We must work together to ensure that this relationship continues to progress on the right track, he added, calling for mutual respect.
The meeting between the two leaders, the first since October, comes after a meeting of G20 foreign ministers the previous day in Bali.
As the West strives to isolate Russia after the invasion of Ukraine and the global economy is plagued by growing uncertainties, China and the United States has taken precautionary measures to prevent its myriad differences from escalating into uncontrollable conflict.
The United States will seek to do everything possible to prevent any mistakes calculation that could inadvertently lead to conflict, the top US diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, told reporters ahead of the meeting.
The meeting between Messrs. Wang and Blinken must also prepare a virtual meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in the coming weeks. Meetings between the two countries' top defense, finance and national security officials have also taken place over the past two months.
For the d' Chinese State Global Times, known for his criticism of the United States, the growing interaction between Beijing and Washington is a sign of a consensus on both sides to avoid an escalation.
But tensions remain high, especially over Taiwan. The United States is concerned about Beijing's growing military pressure on the democratic island which it considers an integral part of its territory and which it has vowed to take back one day.
An American-made Taiwanese Air Force F-5F Tiger II fighter jet. Under a long-standing policy, Washington is helping Taiwan build and strengthen its defenses without explicitly promising to come to its aid if ever attacked by Beijing.
And Joe Biden has largely retained the substance of his predecessor Donald Trump's hard line on China.
But in a recent speech, Mr. Biden clearly indicated that the United States was not seeking to start a new Cold War, although he stood by his criticisms, including accusing Beijing of genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighur people.
The Biden administration is expected to soon ease some of Mr. Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods, which could dampen inflation, which has become a major political liability in the United States. United States.
US officials also expressed cautious optimism about China's stance on Ukraine, condemning its support rhetoric to Russia, but also noting that Beijing was backing its words with no material support from Moscow.
What is striking is the restraint and discretion with which China approached the Ukraine issue at the G20 on Friday, a Western official noted.
But US officials are acutely aware that any mini-honeymoon with China could be fleeting.
They expect Xi Jinping, the leader China's most powerful in decades, is reshuffling its foreign policy team at the Communist Party congress later this year.
But Craig Singleton, who follows the Communist Party China's evolution at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies expects Xi to again appoint technocrats who can work with Washington.
The reason for this is simple: China's economy is facing considerable headwinds and Chinese policymakers seem keen to recognize However, China's aggressive rhetoric has backfired, he said.