China Says Xi, Blinken Meeting Was Just A "Courtesy", Castigates US For "Misperceptions"

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 19, 2023 - 03:48 PM

Update(11:48ET): Initial statements to come out of Monday's meeting between President Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken were generally positive and upbeat, with an emphasis on healing ties. But more statements were issued in follow-up upon the conclusion of Blinken's two day visit to Beijing. 

It seems China wants to let it be known that it will maintain the upper hand while not being too eager to embrace diplomatic détente. According to the latest from Bloomberg

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was "out of courtesy" in which Xi gave strategic guidelines over the bilateral ties, Chinese state television reports, citing Yang Tao, an official at the Foreign Ministry.   

China has blamed deteriorated relations squarely on Washington. China's top diplomat Wang Yi had said it was the result of the United States’ "misperceptions" about China, and stressed that Washington must make a choice "between dialogue and confrontation, and cooperation and conflict." 

The Chinese side also said the following according to Bloomberg:

China told Blinken that US should stop saying that China is a threat, end sanctions over China which are "illegal," stop depressing China’s technology development and interfering the Asian nation’s internal affairs.

"The most important achievement made during Blinken’s visit is the two sides agreed to implement agreements made Biden and Xi in their meeting late last year in Bali, Indonesia on establishing a steadier path for bilateral relations, China says," Bloomberg continued.

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In an effort to halt the rapid decline in relations between the powerful rival countries, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with President Xi Jinping on Monday in Beijing in a 35-minute meeting which the top US diplomat called a "positive step" toward mending ties.

Blinken's message that the US government is committed to responsibly managing relations appeared well received by Xi, coming at the end of Blinken's two-day visit, with the Chinese leader remarking, "This is very good."

Via Reuters

The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People, which is off the West side of Tiananmen Square, typically used for receiving heads of state and other top dignitaries.

A State Department statement said "It’s in the interest of the United States, in the interests of China, and in the interest of the world" for the two nations to mend ties.

Prior to going into the Xi meeting, Xi met with China's top diplomat Wang Yi, and with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang - both of which were present in the Xi meeting.

According to a summary of the US call readout

During his meeting with Blinken, Xi said China does not seek to challenge or displace the United States, but insisted the U.S. must also respect China’s rights and interests, according to a readout from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Blinken denied that the U.S. is trying to contain China economically, as Xi has charged, and said Washington wanted to see economic growth in every part of the world.

"But at the same time we can, we will and we must take steps necessary to protect our national security," he said, referring to U.S. efforts to limit China’s access to semiconductor technology, among other actions he described as "narrowly focused."

The Blinken-Qin talks had lasted six hours, and while China hadn't greeted Blinken's visit in the lead-up with much enthusiasm after the original February debate was postponed in the wake of the "spy balloon" shootdown and saga, it's being widely perceived that this could lay the groundwork for a Xi and Biden meeting later this year.

Overall the talks were dubbed "candid" and "constructive". The below notes are based on Bloomberg's review of the readouts from both sides as a result of the Blinken's two-day visit and high-level meetings:

  • China hasn’t agreed on military to military ties with the US; US will keep working on that
  • Progress with China is hard; it takes time
  • US clear eyed about challenges posed by China; Blinken discussed unfair treatment of US companies with China
  • China’s broad economic success also in US interests; not in US’s interests to decouple from China
  • Healthy economic engagement benefits the US and China
  • US needs to protect critical technologies
  • US wants to work with China on climate, public health
  • Blinken reiterates he welcomes China role in Ukraine diplomacy
  • Blinken raised concerns on China’s provocative Taiwan actions
  • Differences on Taiwan should be resolved peacefully
  • US committed to one China policy, three communiques
  • Blinken expects additional senior visits from US officials
  • China, US set up working group on fentanyl

Importantly, some 'assurances' were given on Taiwan, with Blinken reiterating that the administration's commitment to 'Once China' hasn't changed...

Also interesting is that China's top diplomat Wang Yi had said that worsened relations were the result of the United States’ “misperceptions” about China, laying down that Washington must make a choice "between dialogue and confrontation, and cooperation and conflict."