OAN’s Noah Herring
10:48 AM – Monday, June 19, 2023
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who became the first secretary of state to travel to China since 2018, claimed that the U.S. does not support Taiwanese independence in a press conference following his meeting with Xi Jinping.
“We do not support Taiwan independence,” Blinken said on Monday. “We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross strait differences. We remain committed to continuing our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act including making sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself.”
Following his meeting with Xi in Beijing, China has still been unwilling to resume military-to-military contact, which the U.S. considers to be crucial in order to avoid miscommunication and conflict.
Despite not coming to an agreement, Xi and Blinken felt satisfied with the progress made during their two days of talks. There were no specific areas of agreement beyond a decision to return an agenda for cooperation and competition agreed upon last year by President Joe Biden and XI at a summit in Bali.
“We have no illusions about the challenges of managing this relationship. There are many issues on which we profoundly, even vehemently, disagree,” Blinken said following his meeting with Xi.
“It’s the responsibility of both countries to find a path forward and it’s in both our interests and the interests of the world that we do so,” he added.
Blinken said that he expected upcoming visits to China from other top U.S. officials and also invited visits from Chinese officials.
“It is absolutely vital that we have these kinds of communications,” he said. “This is something we’re going to keep working on,” Blinken said.
In the first round of talks on day one, Blinken reportedly met with Foreign Minister Qin Gang for almost six hours. On the second day of talks, XI and Blinken sat down for a 35 minute meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
According to U.S. officials, China has declined or failed to respond to more than a dozen requests from the Department of Defense for dialogue between the countries as the relationship between the U.S. and China has deteriorated in recent months. Recent disruptions in dialogue can be attributed to the U.S.’s decision to shoot down a Chinese surveillance balloon in February, as well as escalated military activity in the Taiwan strait and South China Sea.
Despite this, XI insisted that China does not seek to challenge or displace the U.S. on the global stage, but said that America must respect China’s rights, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
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