US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday that rare talks with his Chinese counterpart in Indonesia were “constructive” but he voiced alarm over issues including Taiwan.
“Despite the complexities of our relationship, I can say with some confidence that our delegations found the discussions useful, candid and constructive,” Blinken said after an unusually long five hours of talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. But Blinken said he also voiced concerns over issues including Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights and Ukraine.
“I conveyed deep concerns of the United States regarding Beijing’s increasingly provocate rhetoric and activity toward Taiwan and the vital importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Blinken said.
He also called for China to distance itself from Russia, a day after Group of 20 talks in Bali where Western nations directly criticized Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the Ukraine invasion.
Blinken said he told Wang that “this really is a moment where we all have to stand up, as we heard country after country in the G20 do, to condemn the aggression, to demand among other things that Russia allow access to food that is stuck in Ukraine” .
He added there were “no signs” Moscow was willing to engage after it faced a barrage of criticism at the G20 talks a day earlier.
US officials say Blinken’s meeting with Wang in Bali including a morning session of talks and a working lunch, is aimed at keeping the difficult US relationship with China stable and preventing it from veering inadvertently into conflict.