US Secretary of State Blinken confronts Chinese counterparts

The USA continues to put pressure on China: Foreign Minister Antony Blinken found clear words at the meeting with his counterpart Wang Yi.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi for talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Blinken addressed Wang’s violation of US sovereignty by a Chinese surveillance balloon and stressed “that this irresponsible act must never happen again,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department.

Against the background of the tense relations between the two countries, not least because of the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the US coast, there had been speculation about a meeting between the two diplomats in Munich.



Warning against material support from Russia

Blinken warned China of “consequences” should Beijing provide Russia with “material support”. At the same time, he stressed that the US “does not want a conflict” with China and underlined the importance of diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication “at all times”.

China’s state news agency Xinhua reported after the meeting that Wang “made clear China’s tough stance in the so-called airship incident.” He also called on the US to “change course, recognize and repair the damage that its excessive use of force has caused to US-Chinese relations.” According to Xinhua, the talks took place in Munich at the request of the US side.

Wang had previously accused the US of reacting “hysterically and absurdly” to the alleged Chinese spy balloon shot down in US airspace. In a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, he accused the US government of having a “misguided” view of China and of wanting to “smear” Beijing’s reputation.

China downplays balloon affair

China urges the US not to do such “absurd things” just to “divert attention from domestic problems,” Wang said. “There are many balloons from many countries in the sky. Do you want to shoot down every one of them?” asked the top Chinese foreign policy maker ironically.


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The day-long overflight of the suspected Chinese spy balloon over several top-secret US nuclear weapons depots had led to a scandal between Washington and Beijing. Blinken canceled a planned visit to Beijing at short notice.

A US fighter jet shot down the balloon over the sea on February 4th. The US military then salvaged debris that is now being examined. Beijing describes the balloon as a weather balloon and rejects allegations of espionage.


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