US concerned about China’s ‘alliance’ with Russia, Blinken Wang Yi says

The two diplomats described their first face-to-face talks since October as “candid” as the meeting took place a day after they attended a meeting of G20 foreign ministers on the Indonesian island of Bali.

“I once again shared with the State Councilor that we are concerned Union of China with Russia“, Blinken said at a press conference after the talks, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
He said he didn’t think China behaved neutrally, as she supported Russia in the UN and “strengthened Russian propaganda.”

After the meeting, a US official stated that “neither side held back.”

“We spoke very openly about our differences … but the meeting was also constructive because, despite being frank, the tone was very professional,” the official said.

U.S. to provide four more mobile artillery missile systems to Ukraine in new $400 million aid package for Ukraine

Blinken said Chinese leader Xi Jinping made clear in a June 13 phone call with President Vladimir Putin that he supported the decision to partner with Russia.

Shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Beijing and Moscow announced a “borderless” partnership, although US officials say they have not seen China evade tough US sanctions against Russia or supply it with military equipment.

US officials have warned of the consequences, including sanctions, if China provides material support for what Moscow calls a “special military operation” to degrade Ukraine’s armed forces. Kyiv and its Western allies say the invasion is an unprovoked land grab.

Asked about his refusal to negotiate with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov within the G20, Blinken said: “The problem is this: we see no signs that Russia is ready for constructive diplomacy at the moment.”

According to a statement released by his ministry, during Saturday’s talks, Wang exchanged deep views on the “Ukrainian issue” without giving details.

He also told Blinken that the direction of US-China relations was in danger of being further “led astray” due to problems with the United States’ perception of China.

“Many people believe that the United States is suffering from an increasingly severe bout of ‘sinophobia’,” Wang said.

Question about tariffs

Wang also said that Washington should lift additional tariffs imposed on China as soon as possible and lift unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies.

U.S. officials said ahead of the talks that the meeting was aimed at keeping the complicated U.S.-China relationship stable and preventing it from inadvertently escalating into conflict.

In late June, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi would need to talk again in the next few weeks.

Daniel Russell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia under former President Barack Obama who has close contacts with Biden administration officials, said ahead of the talks, a key goal of the meeting would be to explore the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between Biden and Xi, their original leaders.

The US calls China its main strategic rival and is concerned that it may one day try to take over the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan.

Despite the rivalry, the world’s two largest economies remain major trading partners, and Biden is considering lifting tariffs on a number of Chinese goods to curb rising US inflation ahead of the midterm elections in November.