The United States is committed to responsibly managing its relationship with the People’s Republic of China, by leading with diplomacy and keeping open channels of communication.
To further this goal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his counterpart, PRC State Councilor Wang Yi, for five hours on the sidelines of the recent G20 conference in Bali.
After the meeting, Secretary Blinken told reporters the two talked about regional and global issues in which both countries had stakes, including the Kremlin’s unprovoked war against Ukraine and North Korea’s nuclear program. They also discussed areas where more cooperation between the PRC and the United States should be possible: the climate crisis, food security, global health, and counternarcotics.
The two leaders discussed areas of disagreement, as well, said Secretary Blinken, including Beijing’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity toward Taiwan; the PRC’s repression of freedom in Hong Kong; forced labor; the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Tibet; and genocide in Xinjiang.
Secretary Blinken also said he shared with State Councilor Wang the United States’ concern over the PRC’s alignment with Russia, despite the Kremlin’s brutal war of choice against Ukraine.
“What you hear from Beijing is that it claims to be neutral,” he declared. “It’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression. There is a clear aggressor. There is a clear victim. There is a clear challenge not only to the lives and livelihoods of people in Ukraine, but there is a challenge to the international order that China and the United States as permanent members of the Security Council are supposed to uphold.”
Secretary Blinken noted that in any case the PRC’s actions belie its claim to neutrality: Beijing and Moscow announced their “no limits partnership” as Russia was amassing troops on Ukraine’s border; in June, President Xi reaffirmed that he stands by that decision. In addition, Beijing continues to support Russia at the United Nations and other international organizations, and Beijing echoes and amplifies Russian propaganda around the world.
Secretary Blinken categorized the meeting with State Councilor Wang as “useful and constructive.” He warned, however, “This really is the moment where all have to stand up, as we heard country after country do in the G20, to condemn the [Russian] aggression.”