US, China Butt Heads at Blinken-Xi Meetup

'I made clear that if China does not address this problem, we will'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2024 12:59 PM CDT
US, China Butt Heads at Blinken-Xi Meetup
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, is seen during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and senior Chinese officials, stressing the importance of "responsibly managing" the differences between the United States and China as the two sides butted heads over a number of contentious bilateral, regional, and global issues. Talks between the two sides have increased in recent months, even as differences have grown. Blinken said he raised concerns with Xi about China's support for Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, as well as other issues including Taiwan and the South China Sea, human rights, and the production and export of synthetic opioid precursors, per the AP.

Blinken sounded a positive note on recent progress made in bilateral cooperation, including in military communications, counternarcotics, and artificial intelligence, on which the two sides agreed to start a dialogue on how to reduce risks from the rapidly emerging technology. "We are committed to maintaining and strengthening lines of communication to advance that agenda, and again deal responsibly with our differences so we avoid any miscommunications, any misperceptions, any miscalculations," he said. However, he stressed that "even as we seek to deepen cooperation where our interests align, the United States is very clear-eyed about the challenges posed by [China] and about our competing visions for the future. America will always defend our core interests."

Notably, Blinken said he raised ongoing concerns about Beijing's supply of materials, including machine tools and microelectronics, to Moscow that President Vladimir Putin is using to boost Russia's defenses and its war on Ukraine. "Russia would struggle to sustain its assault on Ukraine without China's support," Blinken told reporters after his meeting with Xi. "Fueling Russia's defense industrial base not only threatens Ukrainian security, it threatens European security. As we've told China for some time, ensuring transatlantic security is a core US interest. In our discussions today, I made clear that if China does not address this problem, we will." More here.

(More US-China relations stories.)

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