Top US and Chinese diplomats meet in new bid to bring down the temperature

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Bali, Indonesia, July 8 (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – July 9, 2022): Senior diplomats from the United States and China are due to meet in Bali on Saturday in a bid to prevent heightened tensions from spiraling out of control.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold a morning of discussions and a working lunch on the Indonesian resort island after participating in a gathering of the Group of 20 Major Economies.

As the West isolates Russia from its invasion of Ukraine and uncertainties grow over the global economy, both China and the United States have taken cautious steps to limit their myriad differences.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the top US diplomat for East Asia, said Blinken would seek “safeguards” in relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The United States will seek “to do everything possible to ensure that we avoid any miscalculations that could inadvertently lead to conflict,” Kritenbrink told reporters.

Blinken and Wang will meet in person for the first time since October and set the stage for virtual talks expected in the coming weeks between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

Since last month, the United States and China have also held talks between their heads of defense, finance and national security and senior military commanders.

China’s state-run Global Times, known for its criticism of the United States, wrote that the growing interaction “underscored the two sides’ consensus on the need to avoid an escalation of confrontation.” But tensions remain high, especially in Taiwan, with the United States fearing that China is stepping up pressure on the self-governing democracy, which it considers part of its territory.

– China has gotten ‘in control’ on Ukraine – US views on China have hardened in recent years, and Biden has largely maintained the substance of his predecessor Donald Trump’s hardline approach to considering Beijing as the main global competitor of the United States.

But Blinken, in a recent speech, made it clear that the United States was not looking for a new “cold war”, although he stood firm against criticism, including accusing Beijing of genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghur people.

The Biden administration is widely expected to soon ease some of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, a move that could dampen soaring inflation, which has become a major political liability in the United States.

US officials have also been cautiously optimistic about China’s stance on Ukraine, condemning its rhetorical support for Russia but seeing no signs that Beijing is backing its words with material backing.

“What was striking was how measured and, in a way, moderate China was” on Ukraine during Friday’s closed-door G20 talks, an official said, amid attempts by the United States to isolate Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who diplomats say has left Ukraine. critical.

Wang offered “no wholehearted endorsement or any sort of signal that China and Russia have this kind of pact,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

US officials are well aware that any minor honeymoon with China could be fleeting.

Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, is expected to shake up the Communist Party’s National Congress foreign policy team later this year.

But Craig Singleton, who follows China at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, expected Xi to again appoint technocrats who could work with Washington.

“The reason is simply that the Chinese economy is facing considerable headwinds and Chinese policymakers seem keen to acknowledge that China’s aggressive rhetoric has backfired,” he said.

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