US and Chinese diplomats are meeting today in New York amid heightened tensions over Taiwan.
Anthony Blinken will see Wang Yi on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly. It will be their first meeting since the talks they had in July in Bali, where they assured that their intention is to continue the dialogue.
But a month later, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan, sparking Beijing’s ire and rekindling tensions between the two superpowers.
During an interview he gave to the CBS television network and broadcast on Sunday, US President Joe Biden emphasized that his country would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, once again calling into question the so-called “strategic ambiguity” of the USA.
But in a sign of appeasement, the Chinese minister said yesterday that he had met in New York with the US special climate envoy, former Secretary of State John Kerry, even though Beijing had suspended cooperation on the issue in retaliation for Mrs Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. .
In a speech yesterday, however, Mr. Wang again expressed Beijing’s anger at Washington’s support for the island of 23 million people, which China considers part of its territory.
The Taiwan issue has become the most delicate in bilateral relations, he stressed. “If mishandled it could destroy US-China relations,” he warned in a speech at the Asia Society think tank.
“Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to become independent, China has the right to want the country’s unification,” Mr. Wang added.
The meeting will be preparatory to a possible face-to-face meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, the first since the US president took office, possibly in November in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
Mr. Wang said the two countries want to make sure their relationship “works” and that there is no conflict, but added that Washington is playing on many boards.
The US Congress strongly supports Taiwan, and a bill providing for direct US military aid to Taiwan recently passed a key stage in the Senate.
Mr. Blinken met with the South Korean and his Japanese counterpart yesterday Thursday in New York and shortly before seeing Mr. Wang he will hold talks in the framework of the Quad (“four-party”), an alliance formed by the US, Australia, India and Japan.