US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany. Blinken warned that Chinese support of Russia’s war against Ukraine would attract sanctions and some serious consequences.He further condemned the “unacceptable violation” of American sovereignty by Chinese spy balloons.
The Chinese spy balloon that flew across the United States before being shot down over US territorial waters raised US-China tensions. Blinken had also postponed a planned visit to Beijing in the wake of the balloon’s discovery over the United States.
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China admitted the balloon was theirs but said it was a civilian weather research aircraft that had gone awry. The Joe Biden administration rejected the claim and maintained throughout that it was a spy balloon.
Blinken warns China to not repeat irresponsible actions
Antony Blinken brought the facts straight to the table and explicitly warned China not to repeat such “irresponsible action” that threatened US sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the meeting, Blinken made it clear that the Chinese spy balloon, which flew in more than 40 countries across five continents, had been exposed to the world.
Wang commented on this saying “The actions don’t show that the US is big and strong, but describe the exact opposite,”
The relations between the United States and China derailed after Washington said Beijing flew a spy balloon over America. On President Joe Biden’s instructions, the balloon was shot down by US fighters. China called this incident an overreaction and demanded the pieces of balloon be returned.
The balloon incident prompted Blinken to postpone a planned visit to Beijing. The February 5–6 trip would have been the first by a US secretary of state to China in five years and was seen by both countries as an opportunity to stabilize their damaged ties.
Ukraine war and issue of Taiwan
Blinken also brought up the issue of the Ukraine war and warned China not to give any material support to Russia. This comes in wake when China made a statement calling Russia and China ‘friendship which has no limits’
The US warned of strict implications and consequences if China did not pull back.
During the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed the US stand on the “one China policy,” and he underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. However, the visit of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in 2022 alarmed Chinese authorities, in response to which China increased its military activities near the Taiwan Strait.
The US has signed a “security partnership” with Taiwan, according to which if China attacks Taiwan , the US will directly enter the war to protect Taiwan’s boundaries and territorial sovereignty.
“The Secretary reiterated President Biden’s statements that the United States will compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and are not looking for a new Cold War.”
Blinken expected China to keep channels of communication open and use a path of dialogue and diplomacy to move forward.
Blinken also condemned the ICBM test by North Korea as the latest destabilizing act carried out by Pyongyang, and emphasized the need for responsible powers to respond to such significant international challenges.