US tells China its support for Russia complicates relations

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — China’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine is complicating U.S.-China relations at a time when they are already rife with division and enmity over many other issues, Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, to his Chinese counterpart. .

In five hours of talks in their first face-to-face meeting since October, Blinken said he expressed deep concern to Foreign Minister Wang Yi about China’s stance on Russia’s actions in Ukraine and did not believe the claims. from Beijing that it is neutral in the conflict.

The talks were staged in a new effort to try to rein in or at least manage the rampant hostility that has come to define recent relations between Washington and Beijing.

“We are concerned about the alignment of the People’s Republic of China with Russia,” Blinken told reporters after the meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali. He said it is difficult to be “neutral” in a conflict where there is a clear aggressor but even that is possible, “I don’t think China is acting neutrally.”

The Biden administration hoped that China, with its long history of opposition to what it sees as interference in its own internal affairs, would take a similar position with Russia and Ukraine. But she has not, choosing instead what US officials see as a hybrid position that is damaging the rules-based international order.

Blinken said all nations, including China, stand to lose if that order erodes.

The two men met a day after attending a meeting of senior diplomats from the Group of 20 large, rich developing countries that ended without a joint call to end Russia’s war in Ukraine o plan how to deal with their impacts on food and energy security.

However, Blinken said he believed Russia had come out of the G-20 meeting isolated and alone, as most participants voiced opposition to the Ukraine war. However, the ministers were unable to reach a unified call from the G-20 to end the conflict.

“There was a strong consensus and Russia was isolated,” Blinken said of individual condemnations of Russia’s actions by various ministers, some of whom avoided talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

He noted that Lavrov had left the meeting early, possibly because he did not like what he was hearing from his counterparts.

“It was very important that I heard loud and clear from the whole world the condemnation of Russia’s aggression,” Blinken said, adding: “We see no signs that Russia at this point is ready to engage in diplomacy.”

On China, Blinken said he and Wang discussed a variety of contentious issues, from tariffs and trade and human rights to Taiwan and disputes in the South China Sea that have been complicated by China’s position on Ukraine.

Just two days earlier, the countries’ top military officials had clashed over Taiwan during a virtual meeting. Blinken said the autonomous island that Beijing claims as its territory was just one of a number of troubling issues.

He said he emphasized US concerns with China’s “increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity near Taiwan and the vital importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” He added that he had also raised human rights concerns regarding minorities in Tibet and the western Xinjiang region.

Entering the talks, Wang said “it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges” and “work together to ensure that this relationship continues to move on the right track.”

Wang also echoed China’s frequent lines about staying committed to the principles of “mutual respect,” “peaceful coexistence” and “win-win cooperation.” That, he said, “serves the interests of the two countries and the two peoples. It is also the shared aspiration of the international community.”

U.S. officials had said in advance that they did not expect any progress from Blinken’s talks with Wang. But they said they were hopeful the talk could help keep lines of communication open and create “protective barriers” to guide the two. world’s largest economies as they navigate increasingly complex and potentially explosive issues.

“We are committed to handling this relationship, this competition responsibly as the world expects us to,” Blinken said.

The United States and China have advanced increasingly conflicting positions, including on Ukraine, which some fear could lead to miscalculation and conflict. The United States has watched warily as China has refused to criticize the russian invasionwhile condemning Western sanctions against Russia and accusing the US and NATO of provoking the conflict.

“We are concerned about the PRC’s alignment with Russia,” Blinken said, adding that he did not accept Chinese protests that it is neutral in the Ukraine conflict. “I don’t think China is acting in a neutral way.”

The Biden administration hoped that China, with its long history of opposition to what it sees as interference in its own internal affairs, would take a similar position with Russia and Ukraine. But she has not, choosing instead what US officials see as a hybrid position that is damaging the rules-based international order.

At the G-20 meeting, Wang made an oblique reference to China’s global stability policy, saying “placing one’s own security above others’ security and intensifying military blocs will only divide the international community and will become less safe,” according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

On Thursday, the chairman of China’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Li Zuocheng, rebuked his US counterpart, General Mark Milley, for Washington’s support for Taiwan.

Li demanded that the US end military “collusion” with Taiwan, saying that China “has no room for compromise” on issues that affect its “fundamental interests,” including Taiwan’s self-government, which Beijing threatens to annex by force if necessary.

“China demands that the US … stop reversing history, cease US-Taiwan military collusion, and avoid affecting Sino-US ties and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Li said.

At the same time, Li was also quoted in a Defense Ministry press release as saying that China hoped to “further strengthen dialogue, manage risks and promote cooperation, rather than deliberately creating confrontations, provoking incidents and becoming mutually exclusive.” .

China routinely flies warplanes near Taiwan to announce its threat of attack, and the island’s defense ministry said Chinese air force planes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait that divides the two sides on Friday morning. .

The meeting between Li and Milley continued burning comments by Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe at a regional security conference last month that was also attended by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Wei accused the United States of trying to “hijack” the support of countries in the Asia-Pacific region to turn them against Beijing, saying Washington seeks to promote its own interests “under the guise of multilateralism.”

At the same meeting in Singapore, Austin said that China was causing instability with its claim to Taiwan and its increased military activity in the area.

In May, Blinken drew the ire of China by calling the country the “most serious long-term challenge to the international order” to the United States, with its claims over Taiwan and its efforts to dominate the strategic South China Sea.

The United States and its allies have responded with what they call “freedom of navigation” patrols in the South China Sea, prompting angry responses from beijing.


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