US is concerned about China’s ‘alignment’ with Russia, Blinken tells Wang Yi

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Saturday that he had discussed Russian aggression Ukraine During more than five hours of talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, he raised concerns about Beijing’s rapprochement with Moscow.

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

“I shared again with the state councilor that we are concerned about it Alignment of the PRC with Russia,” Blinken said at a news conference after the talks, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

He said he didn’t think so China It supported Russia at the United Nations and remained neutral as it “expanded Russian propaganda”.

After the meeting, a US official said “neither side is backing down”.

“We were very open about where our differences lie … but the meeting was constructive because despite the honesty, the tone was very professional,” the official said.

Blinken said Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear in a call with President Vladimir Putin on June 13 that he stands by the decision to form a partnership with Russia.

Shortly before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow declared a “no limits” partnership, although US officials say they do not see China avoiding tough US-led sanctions on Russia or supplying it with military equipment.

U.S. officials have warned of consequences, including economic sanctions, if China provides material support for what Moscow calls a “special military operation” to destabilize the Ukrainian military. Kiev and its Western allies say the invasion is an unprovoked land grab.

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Asked about his refusal to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the G20, Blinken said: “The problem is this: we don’t see any signs that Russia is ready to engage in meaningful diplomacy at this time.”

Wang exchanged in-depth views on the “Ukraine issue” during the talks on Saturday, according to a statement issued by his ministry, without giving details.

And he told Blinken that the direction of US-China relations is in danger of being further “misdirected” because of the problem with America’s perception of China.

“Many people believe that the United States is suffering from a serious war of ‘Sinophobia,'” Wang was quoted as saying.

Wang said Washington should immediately cancel additional tariffs on China and stop unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies.

Ahead of the talks, U.S. officials said the meeting was aimed at stabilizing the strained U.S.-China relationship and preventing an inadvertent confrontation.

In late June, US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi were expected to talk again in the next few weeks.

Daniel Russell, the US diplomat for East Asia under former President Barack Obama and close to Biden administration officials, said the main purpose of the meeting would be to explore the possibility of a face-to-face meeting with Biden before the talks. Xi, their first leader.

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

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

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