US-China meeting on Friday amid tensions over Taiwan

US-China meeting on Friday amid tensions over Taiwan

The heads of US and Chinese diplomacy meet in New York on Friday amid tensions over Taiwan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will meet on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, their first meeting since talks in Bali in July, where the two men expressed their desire to resume dialogue.

A month later, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan to provoke Beijing’s wrath and a renewed escalation in tensions between the two major powers.

In an interview on Sunday, US President Joe Biden said he was ready to intervene militarily should China resort to force, again deviating from US strategic ambiguity.

In a pledge of appeasement, the Chinese minister said on Thursday he had met with the United States’ climate envoy, former chief of diplomacy John Kerry, in New York, despite Beijing stopping cooperation on the matter in retaliation for Ms Kerry. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

In a speech Thursday, Wang echoed Beijing’s anger at US support for the island, which Beijing considers part of its territory.

“The Taiwan issue is emerging as the most risky point of tension in US-China relations,” he said.

“If mismanaged, it could destroy bilateral relations between the two countries,” he warned of the Asia Society, a research center.

“Just as the United States does not allow Hawaii to leave the country, China has the right to advocate for the country’s unification,” Wang added.

Talks on Friday should nonetheless make it possible to prepare for a possible first meeting between Mr Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, likely in November in Bali on the sidelines of a G20 summit.

Wang said the two countries want “US-China relations to work without confrontation,” while noting that Washington is playing on multiple fronts at once.

The US Congress is a strong supporter of Taiwan. A bill that would specifically provide for the first direct United States military aid to Taiwan recently passed a key stage in the Senate.

Mr Blinken met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in New York on Thursday and is due to hold talks as part of the Quad, which brings together Australia, India and Japan, shortly before his meeting with Mr Wang.


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