Blinken, Wang meet in Bali to de-escalate tensions

Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Jul 9 (EFE).- The United States secretary of state and his Chinese counterpart met Saturday in Bali to ease tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

“In a relationship as complex and consequential as the one between the United States and China, there is a lot to talk about. I very much am looking forward to a productive and constructive conversation with you,” Antony Blinken told Wang Yi before the meeting, which took place a day after the G20 foreign ministers summit, the US department of state said in a statement.

Blinken and Wang’s meeting is expected to extend into a working lunch after the morning session of talks.

The two officials are expected to discuss a variety of topics, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, global economic problems and Taiwan.

“China and the United States are two major countries, so it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges. At the same time, we do need to work together to ensure that this relationship will continue to move forward along the right track,” Wang said, stressing the importance of “mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and willing cooperation” between the two powers.

The meeting between Blinken and Wang, who last met in person in October, paves the way for a call between the Chinese and US presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

China and the United States have increased their meetings since last month.

The two countries’ defense chiefs met last month at a summit in Singapore, and their top finance and national security officials have also met.

During the talks between Wang and Blinken, the American is expected to warn China against supporting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, according to the US secretary of state’s team.

During the G20 meeting, Wang Yi became one of the main messengers for Moscow since most of the diplomats attending the summit preferred not to meet the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, who was also present.

China and Russia maintain a close relationship that came to be defined by the leaders of both countries at the beginning of the year as a “limitless friendship.”

However, although Beijing has not condemned the invasion of Ukraine, it has called for the war to stop, and at the meetings in Bali some attendees highlighted its “constructive” role in this regard.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the top US diplomat for East Asia, told media ahead of the Blinken-Wang meeting that the US, “will seek to do everything possible to ensure that we prevent any miscalculation that could lead inadvertently to conflict.”

One of the biggest points of tension between the two countries is Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing claims and does not rule out invading, and that Washington has vowed to defend. EFE


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