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Secretary of State Blinken Meets with Xi Jinping

June 19, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his two-day visit to Beijing with an unscheduled “courtesy meeting” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 19. It had not been clear from the get-go whether the Secretary would be granted a meeting with the Chinese President, and it was perhaps contingent on how the previous meetings with Foreign Minister Qin Gang, and another meeting with State Councilor Wang Yi, turned out.

On June 18, Blinken met with Qin Gang, which meeting lasted seven hours, and covered the gamut of U.S.-China relations, and all the problems connected with them. The discussion was characterized as “candid, in-depth and constructive.” Then, on June 19 he met with State Councilor Wang Yi. Wang Yi said that the U.S. should drop the “China hype” and lift trade sanctions. In the discussions, Blinken reaffirmed the commitments made by President Biden to President Xi during their Bali summit on the sidelines of the G20 on Nov. 14, 2022, that the U.S. is committed to the “one-China policy,” that it does not seek a new “Cold War,” does not support Taiwan independence, and that its “alliances” are not aimed against China. While actions of the Biden Administration since that summit have clearly sent the opposite message, the reaffirmation of these at a high level by Blinken was enough to convince the Chinese leadership to agree to continued high-level exchanges.

In the half-hour meeting with President Xi Jinping, the Chinese President indicated that he had been briefed by the other officials on the results of Blinken’s meetings. He pointed out that the world needs a generally stable China-U.S. relationship, and whether the two countries can find the right way to get along bears on the future of humanity.

Declaring that the common interests of the two countries should be valued, and that their respective success is an opportunity instead of a threat to each other, Xi said the two countries should act with a sense of responsibility for history, for the people and for the world, and handle China-U.S. relations properly. In this way, they may contribute to global peace and development, and help make the world, which is changing and turbulent, more stable, certain and constructive. Xi also said that “neither side should try to shape the other side by its own will, still less deprive the other side of its legitimate right to development.”

Blinken conveyed President Biden’s greetings to President Xi and reiterated that the United States is committed to the principles agreed to by the two Presidents in Bali last November. He said that the U.S. side was looking forward to having high-level engagement with China, sought to manage differences, and wanted to pursue dialogue, exchanges and cooperation. Xi asked Blinken to convey his regards to President Biden. Xi also expressed the hope “that Secretary Blinken, through this visit, could make positive contributions to stabilizing China-U.S. relations.”

Both parties indicated that this meeting would lead to further high-level exchanges between officials from the two countries in the near future. During the course of the discussion, agreements had been made that educational exchanges and greater people-to-people exchanges would be encouraged.

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