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Meeting between the heads of American and Chinese diplomacy in Munich for a “frank exchange”

Tension had continued to grow on both sides of the Pacific, between the United States and China, since the affair of the Chinese balloon shot down by the American army. The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, took advantage of the conference on security in Munich to burst the abscess. The meeting, which took place away from the cameras, lasted an hour and was the occasion for a “frank and direct exchange”, confides a senior official of the American State Department.


The Secretary of State took his Chinese counterpart to task, telling him that the incident of the balloon eventually being shot down by the American military must “never happen again” and also warning him of the “implications and consequences” for China if it is found to be providing “material support” to Russia in its war in Ukraine or helping it evade Western sanctions, the State Department spokesman said. Ned Price, reporting on the interview.

Avoiding a “New Cold War”

“The Secretary of State made it clear to him that the United States will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty and that China’s high-altitude surveillance balloon program has been exposed to the eyes of the world,” the carrier continued. American speech. However, he reiterated to Wang Yi that the United States does not seek “conflict” with China or a “new cold war” and that Washington intends to keep the lines of communication open with Beijing despite their rivalry.


In Beijing, the New China agency indicated, after the meeting, that Wang Yi had assured his American counterpart that relations between their two countries had been damaged by the American reaction. Wang Yi “clearly expressed China’s solemn position on the alleged aircraft incident” and “urged the US side to change course, recognize and repair the damage its excessive use of force has caused to China-US relations,” the agency reported.


“Time to Reconnect”

Earlier Saturday, the head of Chinese diplomacy had however delivered a violent charge against Washington, denouncing its “hysterical” reaction to the flight of a balloon and its economic “protectionism”. In front of an audience of international leaders and experts, Wang Yi drew up an indictment against the United States. “There are a lot of balloons in the sky, from different countries. Do you want to shoot every one of them? This does not show that America is strong,” Wang Yi got carried away at the podium.

The head of diplomacy presented his country as a champion of “peace”, a word repeated around thirty times, and reiterated that Moscow and Kiev should “sit down around the table and find” a “political” solution to the conflict. The American vice-president, Kamala Harris, also present in Munich, questioned the neutrality displayed by China. The United States is “troubled by the fact that Beijing has deepened its relations with Moscow since the beginning of the war”, she underlined.

The Europeans for their part, notably Germany and France, are still hoping to convince China to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin so that he puts an end to the war. Paris had estimated Thursday that “the time for reconnection” with China, where French President Emmanuel Macron will soon visit, had come. But Wang Yi also denounced the American restrictions on the export of electronic chips, while the head of NATO called on Westerners not to tie energy ties with China as Europe did with Russia.

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