Blinken to Meet Chinese Foreign Minister at G20 This Week | World

WASHINGTON (The Washington Post) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi this week in Bali on the sidelines of a meeting of ministers representing the world’s 20 largest economies, according to senior department officials. of state.

Blinken’s meeting with Wang, their first face-to-face since last October, comes as the Biden administration seeks to dissuade Beijing from deepening ties with Moscow and U.S. officials consider lifting tariffs on China to ease the threat. ‘inflation.

US officials said they hoped the meeting could bring additional stability to US-China relations as tensions over the fate of Taiwan raise concerns of an unintended military escalation between the two powers.

“One of the main purposes of the meeting will be to strengthen the safeguards on the relationship so that our competition does not degenerate into a miscalculation or a confrontation,” said one of the officials, who spoke under on condition of anonymity to discuss a meeting before it was announced. . “I think there is no substitute for face-to-face diplomacy, and now is the right time.”

Officials said the meeting would focus in part on the war in Ukraine, giving Blinken a chance to relay US concerns about China’s deepening relationship with Moscow. Beijing has called for an end to the fighting but has not taken part in global sanctions imposed on Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s February 24 invasion.

The State Department official said it would be “a real imperative just to make sure we have an exchange, a very candid exchange, about Russia and Ukraine.” Among other things, Blinken is expected to stress the Biden administration’s desire that China continue to refrain from supplying arms to Russia or helping Moscow evade sanctions.

US and Chinese officials say Russia has repeatedly asked for more help from China as its war in Ukraine began to require more military and economic resources. But Beijing appears unwilling to risk violating Western sanctions and has refrained from responding to all of Russia’s demands, despite the “no limits” partnership announced by the two nations.

Chinese officials are now looking for ways to help Moscow without breaching sanctions, the officials said.

The rally in Indonesia poses a challenge to Blinken and other Western officials as they seek to advance a united global agenda on food and energy security while isolating Russia, one of the world’s largest oil producers. .

Officials said Blinken should not hold separate talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The two men have not met since the invasion.

At a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington in April, Western officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell walked out as Russian officials began their remarks.

The State Department official declined to say whether the US delegation would do the same in Bali, adding that the United States wanted to help Indonesia host a successful summit. “At the same time, we have made it clear to everyone involved that the G20 cannot be conducted in a way that signals the status quo,” the official said.

The meeting with Wang comes amid disputes within the Biden administration over whether to scrap tariffs on China as inflation in the United States climbs to 8.6%. Yellen told lawmakers that some of the Trump-era tariffs were strategically questionable and were “paid by Americans, not Chinese.”

But U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai expressed a different view to Congress, saying, “Chinese tariffs are…an important lever, and a trade negotiator never gives up leverage.”

U.S. officials declined to say whether tariffs would be on the agenda this week, but stressed the Blinken-Wang meeting would be broad in scope.

“We anticipate that it will also be an opportunity to discuss areas where our interests intersect, or where cooperation would be in our mutual interest, including on issues such as climate change, global health, counter-narcotics and maybe other areas as well,” the official said.