US steps up diplomatic efforts with China on Taiwan and Russia

NEW YORK — The Biden administration on Friday stepped up diplomatic efforts to press China to end provocative actions against Taiwan and warned it against actively supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the two cases when meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Friday at a meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, according to US officials. The session was one of the few Blinken kept on his schedule after his father passed away Thursday.

The officials did not describe the Chinese response, but said Foreign Minister Wang Yi was receptive to the messages and the two men discussed the need to “keep lines of communication open and manage responsibly US-China relations, especially in times of tension”. .”

The talks between Blinken and Wang come at a time of intense tension over the two issues and ahead of a scheduled November meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Biden’s recent comments about tacit support from Taiwan and China for the war in Ukraine are just two of the latest irritants in relations between Washington and Beijing.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken affirmed to Wang the administration’s commitment to “maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” despite Biden’s assertion. earlier this week that the United States would send troops to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

China regards the self-governing island of Taiwan as its sovereign territory, has not ruled out force to reunify it with the mainland and has stepped up military activities in the region in recent months. This activity is at least partly in response to high-level U.S. congressional visits to Taipei, including by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and increased U.S. arms sales.

Blinken “stressed that preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is essential to regional and global security and prosperity,” Price said in a statement. He added that the United States remains committed to its “one China policy” which does not support Taiwan independence.

On Russia, US officials said Blinken pointed to the damage that would be done to China-US relations if Beijing took a more active role in supporting the war in Ukraine. US officials said they were cautiously optimistic about recent comments from Chinese leaders about their concerns about the war and its aftermath, and Blinken wanted to drive home the point.

Blinken “highlighted the implications if the PRC were to provide support for Moscow’s invasion of a sovereign state,” Price said in the statement. “PRC” refers to the official name of China, the People’s Republic of China.

US-China relations have become increasingly strained in recent years over multiple issues, including the persecution of Muslims and ethnic minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region, the crackdown on dissent in Tibet and Hong Kong, aggressive Chinese actions in the South China Sea and against Taiwan. , and the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonetheless, Price said the United States continues to be “open to cooperating with the PRC where our interests intersect.” One area where the United States hopes to continue coordination is in climate change.

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For more AP coverage of the United Nations General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

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