UNITED NATIONS: America’s top diplomat and China’s vice president voiced hope on Monday (Sep 18) for more stability in the often tense relationship as the rival powers held their second high-level talks in days.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meeting Vice President Han Zheng in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, said he believed in “face-to-face diplomacy” to deal with disagreements.
“I think it’s a good thing that we have this opportunity to build on the recent high-level engagements that our countries have had,” Blinken told Han as they opened their meeting at China’s mission to the United Nations.
The talks aim to “make sure that we’re maintaining open communications and demonstrate that we are responsibly managing the relationship between our two countries.”
Han said that the world’s two largest economies face “a lot of difficulties and challenges”.
“The world needs healthy and stable US-China relations, which benefit not only China and the US, but the whole world,” he said.
The meeting comes as the United States watches personnel changes in Beijing with growing intrigue.
Qin Gang, handpicked by President Xi Jinping as foreign minister, was abruptly replaced in July by the veteran policymaker Wang Yi.
US officials initially expected Wang to travel to the annual UN meeting, where he may have met briefly with President Joe Biden, but instead China said that the comparatively lesser-known Han would come.
But Wang, who also is the Communist Party foreign policy director, held talks over the weekend with Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, in Malta.