Foreign Minister Wang Yi asks U.S. to improve relations

China has expanded its list of demands if the United States wants to improve relations, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali. Both characterized the talks as “constructive”, with Wang saying they had created conditions for further high-level exchanges. But he added: “Sino-U.S. relations are still not out of the predicament created by the previous U.S. administration, and they are even facing more and more challenges,” Wang said. He added that the U.S. wrongly sees China as a threat, saying: “If this ‘threat’ theory is allowed to further develop, U.S. policy towards China will be entering a dead end that it cannot exit”.

Wang said China has presented Blinken four demands: remedial action for Washington to take; a list of Beijing’s key concerns; U.S. legislation it wants changed, and eight areas where the two sides can cooperate. Details of the list were not made available. China had already presented a list of its key concerns and remedial action it wanted in July last year, including a call for visa restrictions on Communist Party members to be lifted and for fairer treatment of Chinese citizens in the U.S. The talks between Blinken and Wang on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Bali lasted for five hours, including a lunch meeting. Topics discussed included the ongoing Ukraine war, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Despite the complexities of our relationship, I can say with some confidence that our delegations found today’s discussions useful, candid and constructive,” Blinken told reporters after the talks. “The U.S. wants our communication channel with Beijing to continue to remain open.” He also said the two nations can work on climate change, food security and global health, while Beijing said both sides had agreed to create better conditions for their consular and diplomatic officials.

In the talks, Wang accused the U.S. of not honoring a commitment to improve China-U.S. relations made during a virtual summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in November. Wang said the U.S. is still building up its regional alliances to contain China, supporting moves towards Taiwanese independence, interfering with China’s internal affairs under the guise of human rights and smearing China’s political system, the South China Morning Post reports.