Important Talks Between the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

On 9 July 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Bali after the conclusion of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The two sides had comprehensive, in-depth, and candid communication at length on China-US relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. Both sides agreed that the dialogue was substantive and constructive, and has helped the two sides increase mutual understanding, reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation, and accumulated conditions for future high-level interactions.

Wang Yi noted that China-US relations are still not out of the difficulties caused by the previous US administration, and even facing mounting challenges. For the relationship, its historical narrative has been distorted, its current development is being hijacked by “political correctness”, and it faces the risk of being further led astray from the right direction. This is fundamentally caused by the United States’ misperception of China, which resulted in a China policy that deviates from the right track. The self-contradictions and say-do gap in the US policy toward China reflect serious miscalibration of its views on the world, on China, on China-US relations, and on interests and competition. Many people thus argue that the United States is taking on growing China-phobia. If such a threat of inflation continues unchecked, the United States’ China policy will only lead to a dead-end that offers no way out.

Wang Yi pointed out that the fundamental approach to steer China-US relations out of difficulties is by earnestly implementing the common understandings reached by the two Presidents. China has all along acted on the three principles put forward by President Xi Jinping in developing China-US relations, i.e. mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. The US side should truly fulfill the five commitments made by President Biden with concrete actions.

Wang Yi emphasized that since the United States has promised that it does not seek to change China’s system, it should respect the Chinese people’s choice of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and should stop smearing and attacking China’s political system and domestic and foreign policies. Since the United States has promised not to seek a new Cold War with China, it should abandon the Cold War mentality, refrain from a zero-sum game, and stop forming exclusive groupings. Since the United States has promised not to support “Taiwan independence”, it should stop hollowing out or distorting the one-China policy, cease the “salami-slicing” on the Taiwan question, and refrain from playing the “Taiwan card” to obstruct China’s peaceful reunification. Since the United States has promised not to look for conflict with China, it should respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs or undermine China’s legitimate interests under the pretext of human rights or democracy. The United States should also remove the additional tariffs imposed on China as quickly as possible and stop the unilateral sanctions on Chinese businesses.

Wang Yi noted the US call for guardrails for China-US relations and stressed that the three Sino-US joint communiqués are the most reliable guardrails for the two countries. If the two sides earnestly fulfill the commitments made in the three joint communiqués, stick to the right direction, promptly remove the roadblocks and keep the path forward smooth and unimpeded, this would ensure the bilateral relations will not veer off track or spin out of control. Otherwise, no amount of guardrails would work. The two sides should discuss the establishment of guidelines for their behavior in the spirit of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, avoidance of confrontation, and win-win cooperation. It is important to put in place channels to implement the common understandings of the two Presidents and better coordinate exchanges between various authorities in different fields. It is also necessary to properly manage tensions and disagreements and work to resolve pronounced issues. China has thus put forth four lists to the US side, i.e. the list of US wrongdoings that must stop, the list of key individual cases that the US must resolve, the list of Acts in the 117th Congress of high concern to China, and the list of cooperation proposals in eight areas, which the Chinese side hopes will be taken seriously by the US side.

Wang Yi gave a comprehensive overview of China’s stern position on the Taiwan question. He stressed that the United States must be cautious with its words and actions, must not send any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces, must not underestimate the firm resolve of the Chinese people to defend their territorial sovereignty, and must not make fundamental mistakes that would imperil peace in the Taiwan Strait. Wang also refuted the United States’ erroneous views on Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and maritime issues, among others.

Secretary Blinken outlined the United States’ policy toward China and stated that the United States does not seek to engage in a new Cold War with China, change China’s system, challenge the status of the Communist Party of China , or block China, and it does not support Taiwan independence or seek to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The United States is committed to managing risks in bilateral relations and is open to cooperation with China.

The two sides reached an agreement on working for more outcomes of the China-US joint working group consultation in a reciprocal manner and agreed to create better conditions for their diplomatic and consular personnel to discharge their functions and resume exchanges and consultation on people-to-people and cultural matters. The two sides also agreed to step up cooperation on climate change and public health.

The Chinese side also put forward proposals for positive interactions between China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula , and other issues.

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