Top US diplomat Blinken meets China’s VP Han at U.N. amid strained ties

Top US diplomat Blinken meets China’s VP Han at U.N. amid strained ties
Top US diplomat Blinken meets China’s VP Han at U.N. amid strained ties

By Humeyra Pamuk and Michael Martina

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese language Vice President Han Zheng on Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations Common Meeting, the newest in a collection of conferences aimed at decreasing tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

In an announcement after the assembly, the U.S. State Division mentioned the talks concerned “a candid and constructive dialogue.” The 2 agreed to keep up open traces of communication and mentioned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea and the Taiwan Strait, the division added.

The talks between Blinken and Han might assist set the stage for a gathering between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping later this 12 months.

They adopted 12 hours of conferences final weekend between White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese language International Minister Wang Yi in Malta.

“The world expects us to responsibly handle our relationship,” Blinken mentioned in short remarks at the start of his assembly with Han. “The US is dedicated to doing simply that,” he added.

“From the angle of the US, face-to-face diplomacy is the easiest way to cope with areas the place we disagree, and likewise the easiest way to discover areas of cooperation between us,” Blinken mentioned.

Blinken, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Biden local weather envoy John Kerry have traveled to China this 12 months to thaw relations and guarantee continued communication between the 2 international locations amid tensions that flared after the U.S. navy shot down a Chinese language surveillance balloon that traveled over the US.

Biden this month expressed disappointment that Xi had skipped a summit of Group of 20 leaders in India, however mentioned he would “get to see him.”

The subsequent seemingly alternative for Biden to carry talks with Xi is an Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November, the place U.S. aides for months have hoped to stage such a gathering.

Neither Blinken nor Han of their remarks explicitly talked about whether or not such a gathering would materialize.

“At present, China-U.S. relations face many difficulties and challenges,” Han instructed Blinken, noting that China hoped the U.S. would make efforts to implement the consensus reached by the 2 international locations’ leaders and promote the secure growth of relations.

“The world wants secure and wholesome China-U.S. relations,” Han mentioned.

The U.S. and China are at odds over points starting from Taiwan to commerce, fentanyl and human rights. Critics of the Biden administration have questioned its technique of participating China, warning {that a} failure to push again on provocations, together with the current China-linked hacking of senior U.S. officers’ e mail, might embolden Beijing.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray instructed a convention on Monday that China has a cyberespionage program so huge that it’s greater than all of its main opponents mixed.

Ryan Hass, a China knowledgeable at the Brookings Establishment, mentioned the tempo of high-level exchanges between Washington and Beijing urged that efforts have been “purposeful” and never simply a part of relationship administration.

“I anticipate either side are working to set the stage for a productive assembly between each leaders in November,” Hass mentioned.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Michael Martina; further reporting by Kanishka Singh; Enhancing by Don Durfee, Sonali Paul and Sandra Maler)

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