G20 meeting in Bali | Beijing and Washington seek to reduce tension between them

(Bali) The chiefs of Chinese and US diplomacy, Wang Yi and Anthony Blinken, on Saturday tried to ease tension between their two countries during a rare meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Posted yesterday at 11:07 PM.

Sean Tandon
France media agency

“In a relationship as complex and important as the one between the United States and China, there are many things to discuss,” said Mr. Blinken, as he and Mr. Wang stood in front of the two flags. An American and a Chinese at a hotel in Bali, at the beginning of the morning of discussions followed by a business lunch. “We look forward to a fruitful and constructive dialogue,” he added.

“China and the United States are two big countries, so it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges,” Wang replied. “We must work together to ensure that this relationship continues to progress on the right path,” he added, calling for “mutual respect.”

The meeting between the officials, the first since October, follows a meeting of G20 foreign ministers the day before in Bali.

As the West seeks to isolate Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, and the global economy suffers from heightened uncertainty, China and the United States have taken precautionary measures to prevent their countless differences from turning into an uncontrollable conflict.

The top US diplomat for East Asia told reporters before the meeting, Daniel Kristenbrink, that the United States would seek “to do everything in its power to prevent any miscalculation that might inadvertently lead to conflict.”

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The meeting between gentlemen. Wang and Blinken should also prepare for a virtual meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in the coming weeks. Meetings were also held between the two countries’ senior defense, finance and national security officials over the past two months.

Chinese state newspaper Global TimesKnown for his criticism of the United States, the increased interaction between Beijing and Washington is a sign of “the two sides agree to avoid escalation.”

But tensions remain high, especially over Taiwan. The United States is concerned about the increasing military pressure from Beijing on the democratic island it considers an inalienable part of its territory and which it has vowed to take back one day.

hard line

Joe Biden has largely kept the core of his predecessor Donald Trump’s hard line on China.

But in a recent speech, Mr. Biden made clear that the United States was not seeking to start a new “cold war,” even as he stood by his criticisms, including accusing Beijing of genocide against the mostly Muslim Uighur people.

The Biden administration is expected soon to ease some of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, which could curb inflation, which has become a major political obstacle in the United States.

US officials also expressed cautious optimism about China’s position on Ukraine, condemning its rhetorical support for Russia, but also noting that Beijing backed its words without material support for Russia.

A Western official noted that “what is remarkable is the restraint and discretion” with which China handled the Ukraine issue at the G-20 on Friday.

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But US officials are well aware that any small honeymoon with China can be fleeting.

They expect Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader in decades, to reshuffle the foreign policy team at the Communist Party Congress later this year.

But Craig Singleton, who tracks China at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, expects Xi will once again appoint technocrats who can work with Washington.

“The reason is simple: the Chinese economy is facing significant headwinds and Chinese policymakers seem eager to acknowledge that China’s aggressive rhetoric has backfired,” he said.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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