China's Xi calls for mutual respect in meeting with top US diplomat

China's President Xi Jinping on Monday received US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing, calling for mutual respect between the two countries, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

State-to-state interactions "should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity," Xi told Blinken during the meeting, according to a tweet by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

On his second day of high-level diplomatic contacts in Beijing, Blinken was received by Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Chinese public broadcaster CGTN reported, in the highest-level contact between the world's top two economies since Xi met his American counterpart Joe Biden last November in Indonesia.

Xi said Director Wang Yi and State Councilor Qin Gang described their talks with Secretary Blinken as candid and in-depth, according to CGTN.

"The Chinese side has made its position clear, and the two sides have agreed to follow through the common understandings President Biden and I had reached in Bali. The two sides also made progress and reached agreement on some specific issues," Xi said.

"I hope that Secretary Blinken, through this visit, could make positive contribution to stabilizing China-US relations," he added.

After more than seven hours of official and unofficial discussions with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on Sunday, Blinken met China's foreign affairs chief Wang Yi early on Monday.

Wang told Blinken that China-US bilateral relations were at a "critical juncture" and that "it is necessary to make a choice between dialogue or confrontation, cooperation or conflict," said a readout from Beijing.

He added that the "root cause of the current downturn in China-US relations lies in the U.S. side's erroneous understanding of China." The meeting lasted for around three hours.

A day before, Qin had said ties were at their "lowest" point since Beijing and Washington established diplomatic relations.

Wang placed the responsibility on Washington to normalize relations.

"For China-US relations to be stable and long-term, the most important thing is to follow the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation (as) proposed by President Xi Jinping," said Wang.

On the matter of Taiwan, a focal point of rising tensions between the US and China, which views the island as a "breakaway province," Wang told Blinken there was "no room for compromise," urging the US to "adhere to the one-China principle."

Wang was seen waiting to greet Blinken inside the building where they would meet, standing against the Chinese and US national flags. Without speaking, they walked inside the closed room for talks.

The sides described the Sunday meeting as "positive," "candid," and "constructive."

Earlier today, Andrew Leung, a Hong Kong-based China analyst, had told Anadolu that the talks held Sunday were "no game changer" but "were prudent for both sides to build guard rails and hotlines."

While China recently declined a meeting of defense chiefs requested by the US, Beijing hosted American businessmen before Blinken flew to China, the first time any US Secretary of State had visited the world's second-largest economy since 2018.

"I think, yes," Andrew replied when asked whether Blinken would get to meet Xi, saying such a meeting would befit "China's civilization" and status as a "great country."

Tesla carmaker Elon Musk was hosted by Qin while, American billionaire Bill Gates was granted an audience by Xi, who described him as an "old friend" and "first American" he received in Beijing this year.

During the Qin-Blinken talks, the two sides had broadly agreed to at least five issues, including compliance with the consensus reached by the two heads of state in Bali last November.

They also agreed to continue senior-level visits, with Blinken extending an invitation to Qin to visit the US.


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