“Frank” discussions between China and the United States in Bangkok

(Washington) China and the United States have just held discussions in Bangkok described as “frank” and “substantial”, which focused, among other things, on the very sensitive subjects of Taiwan and attacks by the Houthis from Yemen in the Red Sea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke for a dozen hours over two days, a senior American official said on Saturday.

She said the meeting should lead to a call “in the spring” between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, who met in person in Woodside, California, last fall.

“The two sides had frank, substantive and fruitful strategic discussions,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

In the same tone, the White House said in a press release that this meeting was part of “efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage competition” between the two powers.

After a particularly tense period at the start of last year, the United States and China therefore seem keen to continue dialogue.


But the areas of friction remain: links with Taiwan, trade, rivalry in new technologies, struggle for influence in the Asia-Pacific, South China Sea…

The question of relations between Beijing and Iran has been added to the list of delicate issues, against the backdrop of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The United States expects China to use its “influence” over Iran to “stop” attacks by Yemen’s Houthis, supported by Tehran, against ships in the Red Sea, the senior American official said already cited, who requested anonymity.

“Beijing tells us that they are raising the subject with Iran but we look at what is actually happening, and these attacks seem to continue,” she added in an interview with journalists, stressing that Jake Sullivan had expressed American expectations in Bangkok.

The American national security adviser also spoke, during the meeting with Wang Yi in the capital of Thailand, of Washington’s “deep concerns” about North Korea’s latest maneuvers, “because of the influence (of China) on Pyongyang. »

The Americans wish to speak with the Chinese vice foreign minister, who visited North Korea, upon his return.

“Biggest challenge”

The most sensitive substantive issue remains Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be an integral part of Chinese territory.

China criticizes the United States, which does not officially recognize Taiwan and insists that it does not support the island’s independence, of being the main supplier of arms and the main support of the Taiwanese authorities.

“The biggest challenge for Sino-American relations is the movement advocating Taiwan independence,” Wang Yi stressed to Jake Sullivan, Beijing said in its statement.

“The United States must (…) concretely implement its commitment not to support the independence of Taiwan and to support the peaceful reunification of China” with the island, added the minister.

The Taiwanese presidential election, held in January, further strained Beijing-Washington ties.

The Chinese authorities had strongly criticized the president-designate, Lai Ching-te, from a party traditionally campaigning for a formal separation of Taiwan from mainland China, while Washington had congratulated him.

Jake Sullivan “stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” according to the White House press release.

During discussions held Friday and Saturday, the two countries also affirmed their desire to hold a dialogue on artificial intelligence in the spring, and welcomed the progress in cooperation on the fight against drugs.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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