US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi today at the Munich security conference. In the conversation, Blinken said China has “unacceptably” violated US sovereignty and international law.
Wang Yi served as foreign minister from 2013 to December 30 last year. Since then he has been director of the powerful Central Committee for Foreign Affairs, which also includes President Xi.
Blinken and Wang talked for nearly an hour. It was the first high-level meeting between the two countries since the United States shot down a Chinese balloon two weeks ago on President Biden’s orders.
China says it is an off-course weather balloon, but the US says the balloon was a Chinese espionage tool, partly due to the presence of antennas to intercept communications. Blinken has told Wang that this must never happen again.
Earlier today, Wang called the balloon’s shooting “unimaginable,” “hysterical” and “absurd.” “The actions do not show that the US is big and strong, but quite the opposite,” Wang said. Since the ‘balloon incident’, both countries have canceled agreements with each other. The meeting today is therefore special.
Blinken said in a tweet after the conversation that he also warned China against giving material support to Russia.
Secretary Anthony Blinken
Just with the PRC’s top diplomat, Wang Yi. I condemned the incursion of the PRC surveillance balloon and stressed it must never happen again. I warned China against providing material support to Russia. I also emphasized the importance of keeping open lines of communication.
February 18, 2023
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