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‘Competition doesn't mean crash,’ says U.S.

Posted May. 13, 2023 07:40,   

Updated May. 13, 2023 07:40


White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who is at the helm of U.S. foreign affairs and national security, and his counterpart, Wang Yi, a member of the Central Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party, met in Vienna, Austria, and talked for more than eight hours. This is the first high-level meeting since relations between the two countries rapidly deteriorated due to the Chinese reconnaissance balloon incident in early February. Considering that this meeting was recently held while the Biden administration has been sending “dialogue signals” to China to ease the U.S.-China conflict, one needs to closely monitor the impact on the relations between the two countries.

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Hong Kong South China Morning Post on Thursday (local time), Sullivan met with Wang in Vienna for two days in a row. They talked for more than eight hours over two days. This meeting is roughly three months after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China was delayed following the reconnaissance balloon incident.

Sullivan emphasized to Wang that although the US and China are in competition, this does not mean conflict or crash, a senior U.S. official said, adding that the United States remains unchanged in its ‘One China’ principle and opposes unilateral changes to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. "Commissioner Wang explained China's stern stance on Taiwan to the United States and agreed with Adviser Sullivan to continue making good use of strategic dialogue channels between the two countries,” China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Recently, the U.S. has been sending signals to China to ease the conflict. Bloomberg News reported on Thursday that the Biden administration is arranging phone calls between the heads of state of the U.S. and China. Earlier on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns met with Foreign Minister Qin Kang, and at the end of this month, U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tai and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao will meet, and a meeting between U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu is also being discussed.

China is responding to some of the U.S. requests. The British daily Financial Times reported that the position of Chinese ambassador to the United States, which has been vacant for five months, will be filled by the end of this month.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com