THE Secretary of State Antony Blinken, today, said he agreed with China’s leadership on the need to “stabilise” relations but that he was “clear-eyed” on vast disagreements.
“In every meeting, I stressed that direct engagement and sustained communication at senior levels is the best way to responsibly manage differences and ensure that competition does not veer into conflict,” Blinken told reporters in Beijing after two days of talks.
“I heard the same from my Chinese counterparts. We both agree on the need to stabilise our relationship.”
Rejecting a major line of criticism from China, Blinken insisted that the United States – which has banned exports of high-end semiconductors – was not seeking the “economic containment” of Beijing.
But Blinken said the United States was “clear-eyed about the challenges” posed by China – after the growing rivalry was identified by President Joe Biden’s administration as the greatest potential threat.
“We have no illusions about the challenges of managing this relationship. There are many issues on which we profoundly – even vehemently – disagree,” Blinken said.
China has pointed to Taiwan as a main area of disagreement. Beijing claims the self-governing democracy, which buys weapons from Washington, and has not ruled out using force to seize the island.
Blinken repeated that the United States does not support the independence of Taiwan and stood by its stance of maintaining the status quo.