US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2022 in New York (POOL / DAVID DEE DELGADO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday of the need to preserve “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait.
Blinken “stressed that preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is essential to maintaining regional and global security and prosperity,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said after their 90-minute meeting on the sidelines of the conference. United Nations General Assembly.
The head of US diplomacy also warned his counterpart against “the implications of China providing support for the Russian invasion of a sovereign country,” according to the same source.
China is officially neutral, but sometimes accused by Westerners of being too conciliatory with Russia, although US officials have expressed measured hopes after Beijing’s statements this week at the UN.
The Chinese minister also met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kouleba in New York, assuring him that Beijing has called for respect for “the territorial integrity of all countries”.
The meeting between Messrs. Blinken and Wang were “extremely sincere, constructive and thorough,” a US official summed up on condition of anonymity, as the US wishes to keep communication channels open with Beijing.
Map of Taiwan and surrounding waters (AFP /)
It was their first meeting after July’s discussions in Bali, where the two men had shown their desire to renew the dialogue.
A month later, the president of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, went to Taiwan, provoking the ire of Beijing and renewing the tensions between the two great powers.
In an interview on Sunday, US President Joe Biden said he was ready to intervene militarily if China resorted to force.
– “Dangerous signs” –
During his meeting with Mr. Blinken, Mr. Wang accused the United States of “sending very bad and dangerous signals” by encouraging Taiwan’s independence, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Mr. Wang told Mr. Blinken that China wants a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, warning that “the more activity rages for” Taiwan independence “, the less likely a peaceful solution becomes,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. .
For his part, the American official indicated that Mr. Blinken had insisted on Mr. Wang that “there has been no change” in the American policy of recognizing only Beijing, expressing his opposition to “any unilateral change of the status quo” on either side.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the United Nations Security Council on September 22, 2022 in New York (AFP / Bryan R. Smith)
In a promise of appeasement, the Chinese minister said Thursday that he had met with US climate envoy, former diplomacy chief John Kerry in New York, despite the fact that Beijing has suspended cooperation on the matter. retaliation for the lady. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Mr. Blinken went ahead with the interview on Friday despite having lightened his schedule due to his father’s death on Thursday.
In a speech in New York on Thursday, Wang reiterated Beijing’s anger at US support for the island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.
“The Taiwan issue is becoming the riskiest topic of tension in American-Chinese relations,” he noted before the Asia Society, a research center.
The United States Congress is a strong supporter of Taiwan. A bill that specifically provides for the first direct military aid from the United States to Taiwan recently passed a milestone in the Senate.