Blinken to meet Chinese counterpart following Biden comments on Taiwan
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet this week with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the State Department said on Thursday.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and manage competition responsibly, the Secretary will discuss a range of bilateral and global issues with” the People’s Republic of China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the statement read.
The meeting is set for Friday and comes after President Biden gave an emphatic “yes” when asked if U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China invaded, in an interview with CBS’s “60 minutes” that aired on Sunday.
The Chinese foreign ministry made a formal complaint, issuing “stern representations” following Biden’s remarks, which the White House argued did not constitute a change in U.S. policy.
China views any efforts by foreign governments to elevate relations with Taiwan as a red line and considers the self-governed island an inalienable part of the mainland.
The U.S. position toward Taiwan, and Biden’s repeated statements that American forces would defend the democratic island, have infuriated the Chinese. Relations between Washington and Beijing have continued to devolve over a host of security, military, geopolitical, economic and environmental issues.
Blinken last met with Wang on July 9 in Bali, Indonesia, following a meeting of Group of 20 foreign ministers, where the two top diplomats emphasized the need to maintain communication on the most thorny issues.