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World News | Blinken concluded the first day of talks in Beijing, China and the United States still have differences on many issues

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BEIJING, June 19 (AP) — The United States and China have failed to overcome their worst differences but were able to discuss them in a potentially constructive way and agreed to continue negotiations, U.S. and Chinese officials said Sunday.

U.S. officials said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken facilitated a visit to Washington by Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang during nearly six hours of talks. But both sides said progress on differences was still ongoing, while China’s foreign ministry said “China-U.S. relations are at their lowest point since their establishment”.

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China confirmed Qin had accepted the invitation “at a mutually convenient time”, but did not set a specific date.

The State Department said Blinken emphasized “the importance of diplomacy and keeping lines of communication open on all issues to reduce the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculation.”

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Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry said China reiterated its position that the current relationship “does not conform to the fundamental interests of the two peoples, nor does it conform to the common expectations of the international community”.

Blinken, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China since President Joe Biden took office, will have more high-level contacts with the Chinese on Monday, including possibly with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Despite Blinken’s presence in the Chinese capital, the prospect of any major breakthrough on the thorniest issue facing the world’s two largest economies was slim.

Neither side has shown any inclination to abandon its established positions.

Blinken’s trip came after he postponed a planned visit to China in February after a spy balloon over China was shot down.

The talks could pave the way for a meeting between Biden and Xi in the coming months. Biden said on Saturday he hoped to be able to meet with Xi in the coming months to resolve the plethora of differences that have divided them.

The long list includes disagreements on everything from trade to the human rights situation in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong to China’s military assertiveness in the South China Sea and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

At Sunday’s meeting, Blinken also urged China to release detained U.S. citizens and take steps to curb the production and export of fentanyl precursors that are fueling America’s opioid crisis.

Blinken “made clear that the United States will always defend the interests and values ​​of the American people and work with its allies and partners to advance our vision of a world that is free and open and preserves an international rules-based order,” the State Department said.

China’s foreign ministry retorted in a statement, saying, “China hopes that the U.S. side will view China objectively and rationally, meet China halfway, maintain the political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations, and properly handle emergencies and sporadic incidents. A calm, professional and rational attitude.”

Shortly before leaving Washington, Blinken emphasized the importance of establishing and maintaining better channels of communication between the United States and China.

Blinken said Friday that Biden and Xi had made a commitment to improve communication “precisely to ensure that our communication is as clear as possible to avoid possible misunderstandings and miscommunications.”

Xi signaled a possible willingness to ease tensions, saying the United States and China could work together “for the benefit of our two countries” during a meeting with Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates on Friday.

There have been some high-level contacts since Blinken’s trip was canceled in February. CIA Director William Burns visited China in May, while China’s Commerce Minister visited the United States. Biden’s national security adviser, Jack Sullivan, met with China’s top foreign policy adviser Wang Yi in Vienna in May.

But these have popped up at times over the Taiwan Strait, outbursts of angry rhetoric from both sides, their broader intentions in the Indo-Pacific, China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s war on Ukraine, and U.S. accusations that Beijing is trying to boost its global surveillance capabilities, including in Cuba.

And, in a sign of ongoing discontent, earlier this month, China’s defense minister rejected a request by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to hold talks on the sidelines of a security seminar in Singapore.

Underscoring the difficulty, China rejected a report by a U.S. security firm that accused China-linked hackers of attacking hundreds of public institutions, schools and other targets around the world as “far-fetched and unprofessional.”

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry has repeatedly accused Washington of hacking and complained that the cybersecurity industry rarely reported the incidents.

Meanwhile, the national security advisers of the United States, Japan and the Philippines held their first joint talks on Friday, agreeing to strengthen defense cooperation in part to counter China’s growing influence and ambitions.

This coincides with the Biden administration signing deals with Australia and the United Kingdom to deliver the first nuclear-powered submarines, and China rapidly expanding its diplomatic presence, particularly in the Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations, where it has opened or plans to open at least five new submarines in the next year. embassy.

The agreement is part of an 18-month nuclear partnership, abbreviated AUKUS – which stands for Australia, the UK and the US. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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