Ukraine, Taiwan and human rights: The US and China had their first high-level meeting since the spy balloon crisis

Jake Sullivan and Wang Yi met on Wednesday and Thursday in Vienna (Photo: Adam Hodge/Twitter)

White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivanand the head of Chinese diplomacy, wang yiThey held meetings during two days in viennain a forum in which they have dealt with bilateral and international issues -including the war in Ukraine- and with which they are apparently trying to turn the page on the crisis opened by the alleged spy balloons.

The talks, confirmed by the White House, are considered the highest level meeting between the two powers since US forces shot down a Chinese balloon in early February.

The dialogue, which took place between Wednesday and Thursday, was “sincere, substantial and constructive”, in the opinion of Joe Biden’s office. Among the topics discussed, the White House included “Russia’s war against Ukraine” and tensions around Taiwan.

According to Washington, the two parties They pledged to “keep the lines of communication open”in line with what was discussed in November by their respective presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, who met at the G20 leaders’ summit held in Bali, Indonesia.

File photo: US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022 (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
File photo: US President Joe Biden meets Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022 (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) ( KEVIN LAMARQUE/)

Ties between the United States and China have soured over issues ranging from allegations of espionage and human rights abuses by Beijing, to Washington’s efforts to create military alliances to curb Chinese ambitions on Taiwan and in the Pacific.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, canceled a planned trip to Beijing after the United States shot down a Chinese balloon flying over sensitive military sites, plunging the rivals into a diplomatic crisis. That trip was intended to help mend relations after an earlier break over a visit from then-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, the island that China considers part of its territory.

The White House has expressed a desire to reschedule Blinken’s visit and arrange other high-level meetings as part of an effort to prevent relations from drifting into conflict. “The two parties have agreed to maintain this important strategic channel of communication to advance these goals,” the White House said.

It was precisely this idea of ​​managing the rivalry between Beijing and Washington in a responsible manner that was the focus of the meeting held by the US president, Joe Biden, and the Chinese president Xi Jinping, in November on the sidelines of the G20 in Bali. That meeting symbolized a rapprochement after the tension between the US and China that characterized the time of the Donald Trump government (2017-2021), when both nations got involved in a trade war with the mutual imposition of tariffs.

(With information from EFE, EuropaPress and Reuters)

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