Blinken and the Chinese foreign minister have a “fair and honest exchange” in Taiwan

The two diplomats met for nearly 90 minutes in New York, and their conversation focused mainly on Taiwan, the official said.

The meeting came amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing and capped a busy week of diplomacy at the UN General Assembly where Blinken met with diplomats from around the world and condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine. At the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday. It also came as Blinken was dealing with a devastating personal loss: His father, Donald Blinken, died Thursday evening.

The official said the meeting with Wang was “extremely frank, direct, constructive and in-depth,” and Blinken stressed “the need to maintain open lines of communication” so that the US-China relationship can be managed responsibly, especially in these times. tension”.

“Clearly, the differences between the United States and China are real, but we recognize the need to responsibly manage those differences and our competition,” they said.

Officials have described managing the relationship between the US and China as one of the most significant challenges facing the US. Relations between the two nations were further strained after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, after which Beijing stepped up its provocation towards the island.

In a speech at the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang warned that “as things stand, the Taiwan issue is becoming the biggest risk in China-US relations.”

“If mishandled, it is likely to destroy our bilateral relations,” he said.

US President Joe Biden, in an interview on “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, was asked if US forces would defend Taiwan.

“Yes, if it was an unprecedented attack,” he answered. U.S. officials say their policy toward the island has not changed, and according to a senior administration official, Blinken made that “clearly clear” at Friday’s meeting.

“He stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the official said.

Blinken also “reiterated our strong condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, and highlighted the consequences if China provides material support for Russia’s invasion or engages in wholesale evasion of sanctions.”

In recent weeks, President Vladimir Putin has described Chinese President Xi Jinping — a key ally for him — as having questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine. But the officials did not indicate that the meeting left Blinken with any hope that China intended to take action to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I think China’s position, for better or for worse, is pretty clear and consistent and we’ve seen that through public comments,” the official said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said last Friday that she believes the relationship between Moscow and Beijing is one of “comfort,” not necessarily one of trust or one that will combine efforts on all things.

“This isn’t a perfect marriage in every way, shape, and form, but they’re definitely going to work together, but they’re also going to work together to get benefits,” Sherman said in an interview with Washington Post Live.

“It was quite interesting that President Putin made a statement that he knew he had concerns about what Xi Jinping was doing in Ukraine,” he said. “Very interesting for Putin to say that.”

Sherman said he is “sure that Xi Jinping is looking for an advantage as Russia continues its provocative, premeditated and terrifying invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine.”

“Xi Jinping has constantly talked about sovereignty and territorial integrity, so this is not consistent with the principles he wants for his views, whether it’s Hong Kong or Tibet or Taiwan,” he said.