US: Blinken Scolded Chinese Diplomat in Person

Nations hold first face-to-face meeting since balloon was spotted
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2023 5:05 PM CST
US: Blinken Scolded Chinese Diplomat in Person
Wang Yi, China's director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, speaks Saturday in Munich.   (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP)

The top diplomats for the US and China met face-to-face on Saturday for the first time since the appearance of a Chinese spy balloon froze relations between the two global powers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Wang Yi talked Saturday night in Germany, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the Washington Post reports. The tension between the two governments was evident. Before meeting with Blinken, Wang repeated that the balloon was a civilian research craft blown off course by high winds. The US decision to shoot it down on Feb. 4 off the coast of South Carolina was an "absurd and hysterical" response, he said.

In the meeting, Blinken "made clear the United States will not stand for any violation of our sovereignty," a State Department spokesman said Saturday night in portraying the secretary as being unyielding with Wang. Blinken referred to the invasion of US air space by the balloon as an irresponsible act that "must never again occur," said Ned Price. At the same time, Price said, Blinken reassured China that the US is "not looking for a new Cold War" or conflict, per the New York Times. Blinken also told China it would pay if it provides direct military support to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Wang announced Saturday that Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to offer a peace proposal to end the fighting in Ukraine; he called on European nations represented at the conference to turn from the US and support China's leadership, per Politico Europe. (More US-China relations stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.