Blinken Engages in High-Level Talks with Chinese and Japanese Officials on Key International Issues

WASHINGTON - In a significant diplomatic engagement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with senior Chinese official Liu Jianchao in Washington on Friday. The meeting, occurring just before Taiwan's presidential election, focused on several critical international matters including North Korea, Taiwan, Russia's war in Ukraine, and the Middle East, as reported by State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, the dialogue between Blinken and Liu, the minister of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, was extensive. They discussed the importance of maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. The Taiwan issue, particularly China's aspirations for reunification and U.S. opposition to any unilateral changes, remains a significant source of tension between Washington and Beijing.

The meeting also addressed global and regional issues, such as Russia's conflict in Ukraine, North Korea (referred to as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), and the situation in the Middle East. Another topic of concern was the defense of navigational rights in the Red Sea, a critical waterway recently strained by Iran-backed Houthi rebels' attacks on commercial vessels.

Furthering the progress from the summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California last November, Blinken and Liu reaffirmed commitments to key issues, including counter-narcotics cooperation and military-to-military communications. Both sides recognized the value of maintaining open communication channels between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

In a separate engagement, Blinken also held discussions with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa at the State Department. Highlighting the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, Blinken emphasized its role as a cornerstone for peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. He noted the alliance's elevation to new heights, fostering collaboration on bilateral, regional, and global levels.

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