China’s Wang Yi voices concerns to US over Taiwan, trade and anti-Chinese harassment in talks with Antony Blinken

China’s Wang Yi voices concerns to US over Taiwan, trade and anti-Chinese harassment in talks with Antony Blinken

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raised concerns over Taiwan, China-US trade and reported profiling of Chinese citizens in the United States during his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Munich on Friday amid strained ties between the two global powers.

“The two sides should insist on following the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, and actively explore the right way for the two major countries to get along,” Wang said during the talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, adding that Washington should view China’s development “objectively and rationally”, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

On Taiwan, one of the core points of contention between the two, Wang said Washington should “put into practice its statement of non-support for ‘Taiwan independence’”.

“Taiwan is part of China’s territory, and this is the true status quo of the Taiwan issue,” he said.

Chinese foreign minister and US secretary of state meet in Munich

“If the US side truly wants stability in the Taiwan Strait, it should abide by the one-China principle and the three joint communiqués of China and the United States, and put into practice its statement of non-support for ‘Taiwan independence’,” Wang added.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China to be reunited by force if necessary. The US, like most countries, does not recognise Taiwan as an independent state, but it opposes any attempt to take the self-governed island by force and is committed to supplying it with arms.

Last week, the US Senate passed a US$95 billion package of military aid to Taiwan, Israel and Ukraine. But right-wing Republicans in the House of Representatives indicated that they would block it.

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Two mainland Chinese fishermen drown after Taiwan coastguard pursuit

Two mainland Chinese fishermen drown after Taiwan coastguard pursuit

During his meeting with Blinken, Wang also urged Washington to lift sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals as the US calls for a “de-risking” strategy targeting China.

“Turning ‘de-risking’ into ‘de-China’, building ‘small yards and high walls’ will eventually backfire on the United States,” Wang said, warning that Washington should not harm China’s “legitimate development rights and interests”.

Hundreds of Chinese companies are on Washington’s trade blacklist. Earlier this month, the Pentagon labelled more than a dozen Chinese tech firms as “military companies” that pose a national security threat to the US.

Wang also urged Washington to “stop harassing and checking Chinese nationals for no reason” in response to reports that American immigration authorities had inquired about the political backgrounds and research projects of Chinese students.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at least eight Chinese students with legally valid documents had been “harassed, questioned and repatriated” by the US.

China slams US for ‘persecuting’ Chinese students over national security

During Friday’s meeting, Blinken raised concerns about China’s support for Russia’s defence industry and its war against Ukraine, according to the White House.

Blinken said senior officials of the two countries should exchange views on the Middle East and the Korean peninsula.

Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said the Munich talk was a way to keep “open the line of communication” between China and the US.

“China is eager to show that they are managing the situation, while the US, because of the general election this year, is much the same way … [so] both sides would like to meet more. If they have any small breakthrough, both sides would like to make it public,” Wu said.

He also said that the two countries probably also raised concerns over other security issues, such as Taiwan and weapons in Ukraine, but the full details of the discussions were not likely to be disclosed to the public.

Last month, Wang met US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Bangkok. After the meeting, Sullivan said Chinese President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Joe Biden would talk by phone “relatively soon”. Beijing has not confirmed.

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