Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Monday that the United States and China have an obligation to manage their relationship responsibly and that direct dialogue is the best way to prevent differences from escalating into conflict.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Blinken said he had a candid and meaningful conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Wang Yi, head of the CPC Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Commission Office, on Monday.
“In the coming weeks, I look forward to more visits by senior US officials to China,” the head of the State Department said at a press conference in the Chinese capital. He added that Washington welcomes visits by Chinese officials to the United States.
Xi Jinping also expressed satisfaction with the results of the talks.
According to Blinken, during the conversation he expressed US concern over China’s provocative actions in the Taiwan Strait. As the Secretary of State pointed out, he noted during the talks that Washington still expects a peaceful resolution to the differences between Beijing and Taipei.
Recall that for decades the United States has stated unequivocally that its decision in 1979 to establish diplomatic relations with China was based on the expectation that “Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful means”, as stipulated by the Taiwan Relations Act.
Washington has said China’s military escalation in the Taiwan Strait is a “global problem”. The United States believes China is stepping up economic pressure on Taiwan ahead of the island’s 2024 presidential election.
In May, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes told senators that a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan would put on hold up to $1 trillion a year in semiconductor production.
Chen-Yu Lee, chief economist at Taiwan’s Taishin Financial Holdings, noted that a possible military conflict in the Taiwan Strait would also affect other Asian economies, such as Japan and South Korea, whose GDP is d at least five trillion. He also spoke about the threat to the market value of tech giants such as Apple, Nvidia, AMD, which according to the expert amounts to at least $3 trillion.
“If Taiwan is attacked, the US stock market could lose about $3 trillion,” Chen-Yu Lee said at a May 12 conference hosted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Speaking in Beijing, Blinken pointed out that during the meetings he also addressed human rights issues in China, including international concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as as cases of wrongful detention of American citizens.
Previously, forty-two non-governmental organizations had sent a letter to Blinken, in which the head of the diplomatic department raised the question of the responsibility of the Chinese authorities for human rights violations, referring to the crackdowns against participants in peaceful protests.
“Hong Kong police have arrested more than 20 people who attended a commemoration of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre after authorities banned the annual commemoration in Victoria Park,” the letter said.
The head of the State Department reiterated that the United States is ready to cooperate with China on issues of mutual interest. These include climate change, macroeconomic stability, health care, food security and drug control, he said.
The United States and China also agreed to create a “task force” to work together in the fight against fentanyl trafficking, Blinken said.
Blinken became the most senior US official to visit China since 2018. His trip was originally scheduled for February but was later postponed after a scandal involving a Chinese reconnaissance balloon flying in US airspace.
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