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U.S. and China Agree to Stabilize Ties After High-Level Meeting

U.S. and China Agree to Stabilize Ties After High-Level Meeting

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday in Beijing, marking the first high-level engagement between the two countries since President Joe Biden took office.

The meeting was seen as an attempt to halt the downward spiral in relations, which have been strained by disputes over trade, human rights, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Blinken and Xi discussed a range of issues, including climate change, North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan, according to a joint statement released by both sides. They also agreed to establish a working group on strategic stability and crisis management, and to resume dialogue on economic and trade issues.

The statement said that both sides recognized that “the relationship between China and the United States is at a critical juncture,” and that “cooperation is the only right choice for both countries.” It also said that both sides agreed to “respect each other’s core interests and major concerns,” and to “manage differences constructively.”

However, the statement also acknowledged that there are “profound disagreements” between the two countries on some issues, and that “frank and candid exchanges” are needed to address them.

Blinken’s visit to China came after he attended the G7 summit in Britain, where he and other leaders of the world’s richest democracies issued a communique that criticized China’s policies on human rights, trade and regional security. China denounced the communique as a “serious interference” in its internal affairs.

Blinken also met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Sunday, where they exchanged sharp words over some of the contentious issues. Wang accused the U.S. of trying to contain China’s development and interfere in its domestic affairs, while Blinken urged China to abide by international rules and respect human rights.

Despite the tensions, both sides expressed a willingness to cooperate on areas of common interest, such as fighting the pandemic, combating climate change and promoting stability in Afghanistan.

Blinken said that the U.S. does not seek conflict with China, but rather “a relationship based on competition when it should be, collaboration when it can be, and adversarial when it must be.” He also said that the U.S. welcomes China’s rise as a global power, as long as it does so peacefully and responsibly.

Xi said that China and the U.S. should respect each other’s choices of development path and social system, and avoid confrontation and conflict. He also said that China is ready to work with the U.S. to build a new type of major-country relationship that is “mutually beneficial and win-win.”

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