US, China List Differences in 'Candid,' 'Constructive' Talks

Taiwan sits atop the list, state media reports
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2023 5:00 PM CDT
US, China List Differences in 'Candid,' 'Constructive' Talks
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second right, and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, second left, hold talks Sunday in Beijing.   (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)

The top diplomats of the US and China brought their own lists of disagreements and grievances to a meeting Sunday in Beijing, and neither side appears to have let any of them go. Chinese state media reported afterward that Foreign Minister Qin Gang made clear to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that "the Taiwan issue" remains "the most important issue in Sino-U.S. relations, and the most prominent risk," per Reuters. The Foreign Ministry said, in fact, that Qin relayed China's "clear demands" concerning Taiwan, per the Washington Post. The State Department said Blinken stressed the need to maintain open lines of communication "to reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation."

The governments employed similar wording in describing the 5½ hours of talks between Blinken and Qin. Chinese state media used "candid, in depth and constructive," while a US spokesman said "candid, substantive, and constructive." A State Department official told reporters that "profound differences" were evident during the meeting, per CNN. And the US summary, per the New York Times, said, "The secretary made clear that the United States will always stand up for the interests and values of the American people and work with its allies and partners to advance our vision for a world that is free, open, and upholds the international rules-based order."

The main point of agreement was that Qin should visit Washington so the two sides can keep talking, but neither mission said when that would happen. The diplomats discussed making it easier for the people of the two nations to visit the other. Chinese state media said they agreed to talk about opening their doors to more students and businesspeople, per Reuters, as well as increasing the number of passenger flights between China and the US. (More US-China relations stories.)

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