Blinken meets Wang Yi in Munich, says Chinese balloon programme ‘exposed’ to world


Washington: Amidst strained ties over an alleged Chinese spy balloon, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and raised “the unacceptable” violation of American sovereignty and warned that Beijing’s material support to Moscow over Ukrainian war would attract sanctions.

The meeting on Saturday between the two top American and Chinese diplomats took place on the margins of the Munich Security Conference.

“The Secretary directly spoke to the unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law by the PRC high-altitude surveillance balloon in US territorial airspace, underscoring that this irresponsible act must never occur again,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.

“During the meeting, Blinken made clear the United States will not stand for any violation of our sovereignty, and that the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon programme which has intruded into the airspace of more than 40 countries across five continents has been exposed to the world,” he said.

Blinken also raised the Russia-Ukraine war during the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“On Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, the Secretary warned about the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic sanctions evasion,” Price said.

Blinken condemned the ICBM test by North Korea as the latest destabilizing act carried out by Pyongyang, and emphasized the need for responsible powers to respond to such significant international challenges.

During the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed there had been no change to the longstanding ‘One China’ policy of the US, and he underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the spokesperson said.

“The Secretary reiterated President Biden’s statements that the United States will compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and are not looking for a new Cold War,” Price said.

Blinken underscored the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication at all times, he said.

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( With inputs from )

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