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  4. Blinken takes unexpected U-turn after meeting China's Xi Jinping: 'US doesn't support independence for Taiwan'

Blinken takes unexpected U-turn after meeting China's Xi Jinping: 'US doesn't support independence for Taiwan'

Although it was earlier expected that the meeting would not yield any breakthrough in cooling tensions between the world's two largest economies, it wasn't speculated that the Biden administration would take a U-turn over the Taiwan issue.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Beijing Updated on: June 20, 2023 6:10 IST
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese
Image Source : AP U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met Chinese President Xi Jinping as he wrapped up a two-day tour on Monday, asserted both sides agreed on a range of issues but added tensions between the two armies, trade relations and points related to the Russia-Ukraine war remained unaltered. Although it was earlier expected that the meeting would not yield any breakthrough in cooling tensions between the world's two largest economies, it wasn't speculated that the Biden administration would take a U-turn over the Taiwan issue. 

"The US is committed to the status quo of Taiwan, and the Biden administration does not support independence for Taiwan," said Blinken after holding crucial meetings with top Chinese officials. However, he reiterated that Pentagon was deeply concerned about the "provocative actions that China has taken in recent years going back to 2016".

Notably, Blinken's remarks came minutes after his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi "China has no room to compromise or concede" on Taiwan. "The United States must... respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose 'Taiwan independence,'" according to the statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

China-Taiwan tensions

Notably, Taipei split from Beijing during the civil war that brought Mao Zedong's Communist Party to power and established the People's Republic of China in 1949. While the Communist Party gained control of the Chinese mainland in 1949, the Kuomintang-ruled government of the erstwhile Republic of China set up its government in Taiwan (officially called the Republic of China). Though both provinces have been controlled separately for more than 70 years, the CCP continues to claim sovereignty over the island nation. China has, on several occasions, stepped up military exercises around the self-ruled country, which it considers its territory under the 'One China policy'. In recent times, China repeatedly warned the island nation that it would use force if it disobeys Beijing's command and relies on the West for its security.

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan-- a deteriorating point

However, the conflict between both China and Taiwan soared tremendously in August last year after the United States announced its plan to send its then Speaker to the island nation. Initially, the Chinese Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry warned the US and Taiwan to face the repercussions, Pelosi landed and held a series of meetings with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Minutes after the departure of Pelosi, China fired precision missiles towards the border regions of Taiwan, resulting in the latter taking prompt action. In November, when Jinping was re-elected as the President, he exhibited his strong plans for Taiwan. 

Blinken meeting with Xi did not yield any breakthrough

Meanwhile, Blinken, who landed in Beijing on Sunday and held multiple meetings over a series of pressing issues, later held the much-awaited meeting with President Xi Jinping. The vital meeting came hours before he was scheduled to take off from the land on which the US administration constantly claimed for grave human rights violations. The top US diplomat, who was the first one to visit Beijing in the last five years, reiterated that the Pentagon always advocated maintaining a nutritious relationship between the two nations and added the setting would be beneficial for the planet.

"President Biden sent me to Beijing because he believes that the United States and China have an obligation and responsibility to manage our relationship. The United States is committed to doing that. It's in the interest of the United States, in the interests of China, and in the interest of the world." 

What Xi Jinping says

In a reply, Xi said, "The two sides have agreed to follow through on the common understandings President Biden and I have reached in Bali."

Further, the Chinese leader claimed that the two sides had made progress and reached agreements on "some specific issues", but did not elaborate. "This is very good," President stressed.

Also Read: Blinken crucial meeting with Chinese FM ends with no breakthrough in chilling tensions; likely to meet Xi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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