US, China seek to calm rising tensions on many fronts

NUSA DUA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart on Saturday in a fresh attempt to try to contain or at least manage the pervasive hostility that has defined the recent relationship between Washington and Beijing now to be complicated. complicated by the war in Ukraine.
Blinken and the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held five hours of talks in the Indonesian resort of Bali, a day after both attended a meeting of top diplomats from the Group of 20 major rich and developing countries, which ended without a word. joint call for an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine or to plan how to deal with its effects on food and energy security.
However, Blinken said he believes Russia left the G-20 meeting isolated and alone because most of the participants expressed opposition to the Ukraine war. However, the ministers were unable to come to a consensus on calling for the G-20 to end the conflict.
“There is a strong consensus and Russia is isolated,” Blinken said of personal condemnations of Russia’s actions from various ministers, some of whom have shied away from conversations with the Secretary of State. Russia. Sergey Lavrov.
He noted that Lavrov left the meeting early, possibly because he did not like what he was hearing from his counterparts.
“It’s very important that he heard loud and clear from all over the world condemning Russia’s aggression,” Blinken said, adding: “We have not noticed any any indication that Russia is ready to engage in diplomacy.”
Regarding China, Blinken said he and Wang discussed a range of controversial issues from tariffs, trade and human rights to Taiwan and the disputes in the South China Sea are complicated by China’s position towards Ukraine.
Just two days earlier, top military officers from other countries confronted Taiwan in a virtual meeting.
Blinken says the self-governing island that Beijing claims as its territory is just one of a series of dilemmas.
He said he underlined the US concern with China’s “increasingly provocative words and activities near Taiwan and the vital importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. “.
He added that he had also raised human rights concerns regarding minorities in Tibet and in the western region of Xinjiang.
Entering the talks, Wang said that “the two countries need to maintain normal exchanges” and “work together to ensure that this relationship will continue to develop in the right direction”.
He reiterated China’s frequent words about continuing to adhere to the principles of “mutual respect”, “peaceful coexistence” and “win-win cooperation”.
According to him, it “serves the interests of two countries, two peoples. That is also the common aspiration of the international community.”
US officials have said in advance that they do not expect any breakthrough from Blinken’s talks with Wang. However, they said they hoped the conversation could help keep lines of communication open and create “barriers” to guide the world’s two largest economies as they navigate today’s issues. more complex and potentially explosive.
“We are committed to managing this relationship, this competition as responsibly as the world expects us to do,” Blinken said.
The United States and China have taken increasingly confrontational positions, including on Ukraine, which some fear could lead to miscalculation and conflict.
The United States has watched cautiously as China refused to criticize the Russian invasion, condemning Western sanctions against Russia and accusing the United States and NATO provoke conflict.
“We are concerned about the PRC’s alignment with Russia,” Blinken said, adding that he does not accept China’s objections that it is neutral in the Ukraine conflict. “I don’t believe China is acting in a neutral way.”
The Biden The administration had hoped that China, with its long history of opposing what it saw as interference in its internal affairs, would take a similar stance towards Russia and Ukraine. They did not, however, choose what American officials see as a hybrid position damaging to the international rules-based order.
At the G-20 meeting, Wang addressed China’s policy on global stability, saying that “putting one’s own security above the security of others and strengthening military blocs will only divide international community and make themselves less safe,” according to China’s foreign ministry.
On Thursday, China’s Chief of the General Staff, General Li Zuocheng, defended his US counterpart, General Mark Milley, about Washington’s support for Taiwan.
Li demanded that the US stop military “collusion” with Taiwan, saying that China had “no room for compromise” on issues affecting its “core interests”, including self-governing Taiwan. , which Beijing claims as its own territory will be annexed by force If necessary.
“China demands that the US … stop reversing history, stop US-Taiwan military collusion, and avoid affecting China-US relations and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Li said. .
At the same time, Li was also quoted in a Defense Ministry statement as saying that China hopes to “further strengthen dialogue, manage risks and promote cooperation, instead of deliberately creating confrontation, provoke incidents and become mutually exclusive”.
China regularly flies fighter jets close to Taiwan to advertise a threat of attack, and the island’s defense ministry said the Chinese air force plane passed through the midline of the split Taiwan Strait. both sides on Friday morning.
The meeting between Li and Milley followed fiery comments by Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe at a regional security conference last month also attended by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Wei accused the United States of trying to “usurp” the support of countries in the Asia-Pacific region against Beijing, saying Washington was seeking to advance its own interests “under the guise of anti-multilateralism”.
At a similar meeting in Singapore, Austin suggested that China was destabilizing with its claims to Taiwan and increased military activity in the region.
In May, Blinken angered China by calling it “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order” for the United States, with its claims to Taiwan and efforts to unify strategic management of the East Sea.
The US and its allies have responded with what they call “freedom of navigation” patrols in the South China Sea, prompting an angry response from Beijing.

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