China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the latter’s invitation on Friday, stressing dialogue and cooperation should be the mainstream of China-US relations.
Experts reached by Global Times on Friday said that Yang has stated clearly about the situation between China and the US since Biden took the office, as well as China’s fundamental stance. Similar to the Alaska talks, the conversation Friday also referred to the need for the US and China to advance their relationship in the spirit of the telephone call between the two presidents in February.
It also reflected that the US has realized that merely seeking conflicts with China, and being blindly arrogant, hardline while engaging in extremely selfish unilateralism cannot address Washington’s concerns or have its goals reached, noted the expert, and the US still needs to coordinate with China regarding issues like trade and regional order, they said.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, stated that cooperation should be mutually beneficial and address each other’s concerns in a balanced way.
“China is committed to achieving non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation with the US. At the same time, China is firmly committed to safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests,” Yang said, urging the US to follow the spirit of the phone call between the two countries’ leaders on the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve and work with China to bring bilateral relations back on the right track.
“Constructive discussion today with the People’s Republic of China Director Yang Jiechi on pressing global issues. We will continue to conduct practical, results-oriented diplomacy with Beijing on global challenges,” Blinken said on his Twitter.
The phone call was at the US’ invitation, according to news report. Given Washington’s diplomatic style, there must be something urgent about which the US believes a conversation with China is indispensable, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.
During the phone call, Yang mentioned the island of Taiwan, stressing that the question is a matter of China’s core interest and the island is an inalienable part of China. “We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle, honor its promise, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related question, and take concrete actions to safeguard the overall interests of China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits,” Yang said.
China’s Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday slammed the visit of three US senators to the island of Taiwan by military plane, condemning the move as “very vicious political provocation” and the visit was a “political show” using the Taiwan question to challenge the one-China principle, in further attempt to contain China.
Yang stressed that there is only one system and one order in the world, that is the international system centered on the United Nations and the international order based on international law, rather than the so-called system and order advocated by a few countries.
The diplomat also underscored the necessity to safeguard multilateralism, respect on sovereignty instead of interfering in other country’s domestic affairs in the name of human rights, as well as the support to the global community on combating COVID-19.
According to the China Central Television, Blinken said that the recent series of contacts between the US and China are beneficial to bilateral relations and the US is looking forward to increasing contact and exchanges with China at all levels. The US adheres to the one-China principle and abides by the three China-US joint communiques. The US hopes to maintain communication and coordination with China on major international and regional issues, Blinken said.
The US is aware that if it continues bottomless provocations over the Taiwan question, it will eventually have to pay a price for “Taiwan secession” at the cost of US own interests. This is what US decision makers and political elites have been striving to avoid. They are willing to use the island of Taiwan as a card to hold the Chinese mainland in play, but they will never sacrifice US long-term essential interests for the card. On the Taiwan question, Blinken has returned to the standpoint we wish the US to, Li pointed out.
“From Blinken’s remarks over the Taiwan question, we can see US wants to maintain flexible in its handling of China-US relationship. It is reluctant to go all-in. This is a very important indicator, as the Taiwan question is the most vital indicator for us to observe China-US relations,” Li stressed.
The talk between Yang and Blinken also came amid the opening of the Group of 7 summit in the UK, in which the Western camp led by the US are expected to single out the “threats” from China and Russia.
Analysts said it is likely that the US aimed to charge China a price before the “deal” being made amid G7 summit. Besides, Washington may also take the conversation to show its “leadership is back”- Washington is the representative from the West to talk with China, said the experts.
“No matter what the motivation for the US to invite China to have the phone talk, and no matter how much the two sides differ on the content of the talks, such communication is positive for China-US relations,” Diao Daming, an expert on US studies at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday.
One day before the conversation, China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo had a “candid and pragmatic” exchange of views on relevant issues of mutual concerns in the business sector. This was the third discussion over a two-week period between top Chinese and US economic and trade officials since Biden took office. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on June 2. Liu also held a phone call with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on May 27.
In the climate sector, Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy for climate change affairs, held talks with his US counterpart John Kerry during his visit in Shanghai from April 14 to 17.
In February, Yang Jiechi urged the US to correct its mistakes, control divergence, and push for healthy bilateral ties with China, during a phone call at the invitation of Blinken.
In March, the China-US high-level strategic dialogue in Anchorage, Alaska started intensely due to the US behavior without hospitality and diplomatic etiquette. Yang’s tough response at the meeting impressed observers worldwide, showing that China is not there to compromise on key issues and hear lectures, but to point out the US problems face-to-face and find solutions with sincerity.