Home China Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Vicious Competition’ As Blinken Stonewalls China Demands

Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Vicious Competition’ As Blinken Stonewalls China Demands

Blinken, China
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting with China's Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, April 26, 2024, in Beijing, China. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

Was the China visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hard wired to fail from the start? Just ahead of his landing in Shanghai, the US Congress passed a $61 billion aid package that included $8 billion in arms sales to Taiwan. The package provided for Stinger missiles, a reminder to China that the island would soon have the means to defend itself from low flying PLA aircraft.

There was more: the Senate voted to ban social media app TikTok if its parent Chinese company ByteDance, did not divest it within nine months!

Call it a double whammy unlikely to set the Yangtze on fire. And who could blame the Chinese for responding the way they did. President Xi Jinping urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken “to seek common ground, not engage in vicious competition” and “honour words with actions rather than say one thing but do another.”

He said China was not afraid of competition, the US “shouldn’t create small blocs”, warning “no progress means regress”. To which Blinken deadpanned, “We are committed to maintain and strengthen the lines of communication … and deal responsibly with our differences.”

Frank speak by Foreign Minister Wang Yi too. “Negative factors in the relationship still increasing … the big question is should China, US move forward or return to a downward spiral.”

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Note Blinken’s response, not very different from what he had told Xi Jinping, “There’s no substitute for face to face diplomacy … make sure that we are as clear as possible about the … differences.”

As always, anxious to put a positive spin on the visit, Global Times highlighted five major points of consensus reached between Blinken and Wang Yi. The two sides would strive to stabilize the bilateral relationship, maintain high level contacts, hold an intergovernmental dialogue on artificial intelligence, expand cultural exchanges and continue talking about international and regional issues.

But Wang Yi also warned Blinken about the US crossing China’s “red lines”, meaning Taiwan, while the latter reiterated his country’s support for the “one China” policy, an assertion that was undercut by the arms package for Taiwan. Later Blinken added oil to the fire by expressing “iron clad” support for the Philippines in its dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea.

He also urged China to stop sending any supplies to Russia, a point which was picked up by Chinese media that pointed out none of this would have happened if the US had not encouraged Nato’s push eastward, towards Russia’s frontiers. All that for later, when the twain shall meet again.