China and the United States need to return to a healthy and stable development track “at an early date”, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday.
Their hour-long meeting preceded a potential sit-down between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the Apec summit in California next month.
Wang’s meeting with Biden at the White House followed talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
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China attaches great importance to the US and hopes to stabilise and improve bilateral relations, Wang told Biden, reiterating remarks made earlier during his trip starting on Thursday.
“We must act in a responsible manner toward the world, history, and the people, and follow the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation as proposed by President Xi Jinping to truly stabilise and improve Sino-US relations,” Wang was quoted as saying by Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
The one-China principle and the Three Joint Communiques were “the most important political foundation” for bilateral ties, Wang said, referring to the policies governing Washington’s stance on Taiwan.
These must be effectively maintained and not interfered with, he added.
The Xinhua report said Biden conveyed his greetings to Xi, adding that the US was willing to maintain communication with China and jointly respond to global challenges.
Wang’s three-day visit is part of efforts by Chinese and US diplomats to lay the groundwork for a potential meeting between Xi and Biden at the November 11-17 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.
It also marks the first trip to Washington by a Chinese foreign minister since 2018, the year the US-China trade war began.
Wang said his visit aimed to follow through on the common understandings reached by the two heads of state at last year’s G20 summit in Indonesia, and “proceed from the Bali summit towards a San Francisco summit, so as to prevent bilateral ties from further deteriorating and bring the China-US relationship back on the track of healthy and steady development at an early date,” according to the Xinhua report.
“The fundamental interests of the two peoples are also the common expectations of the international community,” he added.
The White House described the talks as a “good opportunity” in keeping lines of communication open between the two geopolitical rivals which have deep policy differences, adding that Biden emphasised the two countries’ “need to manage competition in the relationship responsibly and maintain open lines of communication”.
Observers said Biden’s meeting with Wang was a courtesy gesture reciprocating Xi’s reception of Blinken in Beijing in June. The top US diplomat had then assured the Chinese leader that Washington did not support Taiwan independence, nor did it seek a new cold war or conflict with Beijing.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2023 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.