December 1, 2023

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The Chinese Foreign Minister indicates that the road to the Xi-Biden summit will not be smooth

The Chinese Foreign Minister indicates that the road to the Xi-Biden summit will not be smooth

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting at the State Department in Washington, US, October 26, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

BEIJING (Reuters) – Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “the road to the San Francisco summit will not be smooth,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, referring to an expected meeting between President Xi Jinping and the United States. President Joe Biden.

Wang met with Biden and his senior aides in Washington in recent days, and agreed to work together toward the expected bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

A flurry of bilateral diplomatic engagements in recent months, largely at the request of the United States, were aimed at salvaging relations that deteriorated rapidly early in the year after the United States shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon.

But the ministry warned in statements on Saturday that the road to the summit would not be smooth and that traveling there would not be done “by a drone,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that the minister was speaking after a discussion with members of the US strategic community in Washington.

Last month, China’s top security agency indicated that any meeting between Xi and Biden in San Francisco hinged on “the United States showing sufficient sincerity.”

Wang said that China and the United States need to “return to Bali,” referring to the recent meeting between Biden and Xi, on the sidelines of the G20 summit on the Indonesian resort island last November, where they discussed the issue of Taiwan, competition and communication.

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Wang said Washington and Beijing should put the consensus reached then into practice, “removing interferences, overcoming obstacles, strengthening consensus, and collecting results.”

He said that the two sides have jointly sent positive signals to achieve stability and improve relations, believing that it is beneficial and necessary to maintain dialogue even as there are still various differences, contradictions and issues to be resolved.

Saturday’s discussions also included in-depth exchanges on the interaction between the Chinese and US militaries, finance, science and technology, China’s investment environment and market access, as well as the Middle East and Ukraine crises.

Liz Lee reports. Edited by William Mallard

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