Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Wang Yi attends a trilateral meeting between Indonesia, Russia and China on the sideline of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers'Äô Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, 12 July 2023. Indonesia is hosting the 56th ASEAN foreign ministers'Äô meeting and related meetings on 08 to 14 July. (Rusia) EFE/EPA/BAGUS INDAHONO

‘Avoid wantonly interfering’ in China’s internal affairs, Wang tells Blinken

Jakarta, July 14 (EFE).- Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi urged United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to adopt a rational and pragmatic approach and avoid excessive interference in Chinese affairs in order to improve China-US relations.

Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi speaks during the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with China at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers'Äô Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, 13 July 2023. Indonesia is hosting the 56th ASEAN foreign ministers'Äô meeting and related meetings from 08 to 14 July. EFE/EPA/TATAN SYUFLANA / POOL

Wang met with Blinken on Thursday on the sidelines of an Asean meeting in Jakarta, where foreign ministers of the bloc member states and partner countries gathered.

“The two sides need to start with specific steps to resolutely stop ‘gray rhinos,’ properly handle ‘black swans,’ and thoroughly remove ‘tigers blocking the way,'” Wang was quoted as saying in the statement.

This approach, he said, would create conditions and remove disruptions to stabilize China-US relations.

Wang reiterated China’s “stern position” on the Taiwan issue and urged the US “to avoid wantonly interfering in China’s internal affairs or undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

He called on the US to stop suppressing China in the areas of economy, trade, science, and technology, and “lift the illegal and unwarranted sanctions against China.”

He emphasized that China and the US should respect the efforts of regional countries, support Asean centrality, and avoid bringing disputes and complex factors into regional cooperation.

“The most important (aspect) was to return to the Bali agenda, thus taking an important step toward recalibrating the giant ship of China-US ties,” he noted, referring to the understanding reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden during their meeting at the G20 summit in Bali in November 2022.

He said the US needed to reflect on the root cause of the serious difficulties in bilateral relations and translate “into concrete actions” the common understandings reached by the two presidents during their summit in Bali.

He stressed that the US earnestly needed to fulfill the series of commitments made by President Biden on multiple occasions.

Wang stated that Thursday’s meeting was held at the request of the US, and the two sides had positive discussions on the Asia-Pacific and maritime affairs.

They described the meeting as “candid, pragmatic, and constructive and agreed to maintain communication.”

Taiwan remains one of the main areas of friction between China and the US.

China claims the self-governed island as part of its territory, considering it a rebel province and does not rule out the use of force to integrate the island.

The US has pledged to defend it against any Chinese aggression.

China has increased its military activities near Taiwan and in the South China Sea. The US has imposed barriers on Beijing’s access to essential components for microchips.

The Wang-Blinken meeting took place two days after Microsoft reported a cyberattack allegedly originating from China against various email accounts of several US government agencies.

The talks in Jakarta come nearly a month after Blinken’s visit to Beijing, marking the top US diplomat’s first visit in nearly five years. He met with President Xi, Wang, and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also visited Beijing last week to improve relations.

The ongoing war in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, the crisis in Myanmar, the nuclear threat from North Korea, and territorial disputes between Beijing and other countries in the South China Sea are among the issues being discussed at the Asean meeting in Jakarta.

Wang, Blinken, and other high-ranking representatives of the European Union and countries such as Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, and Australia will attend multilateral meetings to conclude the Asean event on Friday.

Asean, founded in 1967, is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It has set a roadmap for the inclusion of East Timor this year. EFE