Antony Blinken, the US secretary of State, met Wang Yi (top Chinese diplomat), in their first meeting since the downing of an alleged spy satellite over America.
The meeting lasted an hour and took place in Germany where they were attending the Munich Security Conference. This conference discusses the most pressing threats to international security.
Following the meeting, Mr Blinken stated to CBS that he had made it clear to Mr Blinken that China’s surveillance balloon over the United States was a violation of our sovereignty and international law. It must not happen again.
His spokesperson also stated that the secretary of state reiterated the words of president Joe Biden, that Washington does not seek a “new Cold War”, but will “unapologetically defend [its] values” and “unapologetically protect its interests”.
Since the shot down of the balloon off South Carolina’s coast in February, the tension between the two countries has grown. Mr. Blinken delayed a trip to Beijing shortly thereafter.
Mr Wang criticized the US earlier, saying that the shooting down of the balloon was not a sign of the country’s strength.
He stated, “The actions do not show that the US has great strength and size. They are the exact opposite.”
China insists that the balloon is being used for meteorological research. However, it was blown off course by high winds and limited “self-steering” capabilities.
Aside from the balloon incident, Mr Blinken reminded China of his warning about providing support to Russia in the conflict with Ukraine.
On Twitter, Mr Blinken said: “I warned China not to provide material support for Russia.” I stressed the importance of maintaining open communication lines.
Spy balloons and flying objects: Here’s a timeline of what was shot down
China has a ‘high-altitude balloon program linked to the army’
In an address by Kamala Harris the vice president, concern was voiced about the growing relationship between Moscow and China. She stated that any Chinese steps to provide lethal support for Russia would only reward aggression and continue the killing, and further undermine a rules based order.
Ms Harris, while not mentioning the balloon incident mentioned that it was important for an “international rules-based order to be upheld”.
In a statement made shortly before Ms Harris’ address Mr Wang stated that China hopes that the US adopts a pragmatic and positive attitude to China, which allows them to work together.