| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

‘Don’t meddle in Taiwan issue’: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin tells US’ Antony Blinken

During a conversation between Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Qin Gang expressed the view that the United States should exhibit “respect” and refrain from interfering in China’s internal matters, particularly regarding the Taiwan issue.
In a phone call on Wednesday morning, the Chinese minister asked the US to meet China halfway, and effectively manage differences, promote communication and cooperation.

Qin reiterated Beijing’s firm stance on core concerns like Taiwan and said that China has always viewed and handled the relationship with mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The minister further said that since the beginning of this year, China-US relations have faced new difficulties and challenges and added “It’s clear who is responsible.”
He also hoped US works to manage differences and stabilise Sino-US relations so that their relations come back on track with sound and steady development.

“I hope that the US side will take practical actions to implement the important consensus of the meeting between the two heads of state in Bali, move in the same direction as the Chinese side, effectively manage differences, promote exchanges and cooperation, and promote the stabilisation of China-US relations,” Qin said, according to a Chinese foreign ministry readout of the phone call.

Later, Blinken confirmed via Twitter that he spoke to Foreign Minister Qin Gang and “discussed ongoing efforts to keep communication channels open, as well as bilateral and global issues.”

Blinken also “made clear that the US would continue to use diplomatic engagements to raise areas of concern as well as areas of potential cooperation”.

Thaw in ties
Wednesday’s engagement comes on the backdrop of Blinken’s expected visit to China for talks this Sunday. However, no official confirmation has been given so far.

The talks seek to bring a thaw in the tense Sino-US relations, which have seen turbulent days due to the spy balloon incident in February.

Blinken was expected to travel to Beijing at that time, which would have been the first by a US secretary of state in five years, but he cancelled his trip following the suspected Chinese spy balloon incident that flew over the United States.

The two sides had hoped to improve bilateral relations during a Bali summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in November.

Last month, a closed-door meeting took place between Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Vienna.

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