US ‘concerned’ by China’s support of Russia: Blinken
Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Jul 9 (EFE).- China’s close ties with Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine is a major cause of concern for the United States, secretary of state Antony Blinken told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Saturday.
Blinken made the remarks during a press conference after holding a five-hour meeting with Wang, a day after the conclusion of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali, which was also attended by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
“We are concerned about the (People’s Republic of China’s) alignment with Russia,” Blinken said, adding that he does “not believe China is acting in a way that is neutral.”
He also said it was difficult to remain neutral in the face of the kind of aggression Russia has shown in the conflict, claiming that the world’s second largest economy continues to back Moscow in international forums like the UN and to echo the Kremlin’s version of events.
The head of US diplomacy said that Beijing’s position was clear after last month’s call between Chinese and Russian leaders Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
Despite those issues, he said he had “useful and constructive” discussions with Wang, the first since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Blinken said Saturday he saw “no signs whatsoever that Russia is prepared to engage in meaningful diplomacy,” after many attendees at the G20 meetings Thursday and Friday in Bali criticized Lavrov for not staying to listen to his colleagues and leaving the room after delivering his own speech.
In addition to Russia, the secretary of state and Wang discussed other regional and global issues, Blinken said, saying the bilateral relationship is “highly important to our countries and to the world.”
Blinken added that while there are many issues the two countries disagree on, such as Ukraine, Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing claims sovereignty over and has not ruled out invading, which Washington has vowed to defend, or “the genocide in Xinjiang”, China’s northwestern region, home to the Uighur Muslim minority, “communication remains open.” EFE