NEW YORK (TNZT) — The Biden administration on Friday stepped up diplomatic efforts to pressure China to end provocative actions against Taiwan and warned it of active support for Russia in its war against Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced both cases during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Friday in a meeting on the sidelines of the UN’s annual General Assembly in New York, according to US officials. The session was one of the few that Blinken kept on his agenda after his father’s death on Thursday.
The officials declined to describe the Chinese response, but said Foreign Minister Wang Yi was receptive to the reports and that the two men discussed the need “to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-China relationship.” , especially in times of tension.”
The talks between Blinken and Wang come amid intense tensions over both issues and ahead of an expected November meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Biden’s recent comments about Taiwan and China’s tacit support for the war in Ukraine are just two of the most recent annoyances in Washington-Beijing relations.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken had confirmed to Wang the government’s commitment to “maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” despite Biden’s claim earlier this week that the U.S. troops to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
China considers the self-governed island of Taiwan as its sovereign territory, does not rule out violence to reunite it with the mainland, and has ramped up military activity in the area in recent months. That activity is at least partly in response to high-level US congressional visits to Taipei, including by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and ramped up US arms sales.
Blinken “emphasized that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is critical to regional and global security and prosperity,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. It added that the US remains committed to its “one China policy”, which does not support Taiwanese independence.
As for Russia, US officials said Blinken underlined the damage that would be done to the Sino-US relationship if Beijing took a more active role in supporting the war in Ukraine. US officials have said they are cautiously optimistic about recent comments from Chinese leaders about their concerns about the war and its consequences, and Blinken wanted to make this point clear.
Blinken “emphasized the implications if the PRC were to support the invasion of a sovereign state by Moscow,” Price said in the statement. “PRC” refers to the formal name of China, the People’s Republic of China.
The US-China relationship has become increasingly fraught in recent years due to multiple issues, including the persecution of Muslims and ethnic minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region, the suppression of dissent in Tibet and Hong Kong, aggressive Chinese actions in the South China Sea and against Taiwan and handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Nevertheless, Price said the US remains “open to working with the PRC where our interests intersect”. One of the areas where the US hopes to continue coordination is climate change.
For more TNZT coverage of the UN General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly