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China to US: Choose between Stability and Downward Spiral

China to US: Choose between Stability and Downward Spiral
folder_openInternational News access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his American counterpart Antony Blinken on Friday that China and the US face a choice between stability and a “downward spiral”.

This comes as the American diplomat kicked off a day of meetings with top Chinese officials.

Blinken’s trip to China – his second in the space of a year – comes as the two global powers seek to expand communication and stabilize rocky ties, while also navigating a host of thorny issues from China’s support for Russia to its ctivities in the South China Sea and toward Taiwan.

“Should China and the United States keep to the right direction of moving forward with stability or return to a downward spiral? This is a major question before our two countries, and tests our sincerity and ability,” Wang told Blinken during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, after stating that the US-China ties were “beginning to stabilize.”

“Should our two sides lead international cooperation against global issues and achieve win-win for all? Or engage in rivalry and confrontation – or even slide into conflict, which would be a lose-lose for all?” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden signed a bill that could lead to a nationwide ban on the social media platform TikTok if the company’s Chinese parent ByteDance doesn’t sell it – legislation Beijing has previously decried.

In his comments to Wang, Blinken pointed to a “shared responsibility” between the two countries to “make sure that we’re as clear as possible about the areas where we have differences, at the very least, to avoid misunderstandings, to avoid miscalculations.”

“I hope we can make some progress on the issues that our presidents agreed we should cooperate on, but also clarify our differences, our intents, and make very clear to each other where we stand,” Blinken said.

The trip is the latest in a string of high-level engagements that included a summit meeting between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California in November, following a period of immense tension.

In addition to concern about US technology curbs, Wang will likely continue to stress China’s “red lines” in the relationship, the foremost of which being how the US maintains its unofficial relationship with Taiwan.