December 13, 2022
BEIJING – Officials from China and the United States have agreed to maintain communication after their latest discussions on bilateral relations in Langfang, Hebei province, a move observers said is necessary for the two nations to stabilize their relationship and promote practical cooperation.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Vice-Foreign Minister Xie Feng had met with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink and National Security Council Senior Director for China Laura Rosenberger on Sunday and Monday.
“The two sides conducted in-depth exchanges over topics including the implementation of consensus reached between the two countries’ heads of state in Bali (Indonesia), consultation on guiding principles of China-US relations and the appropriate handling of sensitive issues in bilateral ties such as the Taiwan question,” Wang said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Monday.
They also discussed strengthening exchanges at all levels and conducting cooperation in related areas, and exchanged views on global and regional affairs of common concern, Wang said. “Both sides believe that the talks were candid, in-depth and constructive, and have agreed to keep communicating,” he said.
Lyu Xiang, a researcher on US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the bilateral talks, which came after President Xi Jinping’s three-hour, in-person meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden in November, is a follow-up effort to ease the once dangerously overheated relationship that was triggered by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to the Taiwan region.
During their meeting in Indonesia, the two leaders emphasized the importance of preventing the bilateral ties from veering into a conflict and finding the right direction for the relationship by maintaining communication.
They agreed that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China, reportedly planned for early next year.
“The US delegation’s visit is a preparation for Blinken’s trip to China, which is crucial for the next step in the China-US relationship. It is hoped that the top US diplomat will help push forward relations and pave the way for bilateral talks on practical issues, such as trade and finance, instead of taking ties to a level of confrontation,” Lyu said.
Wang Junsheng, a researcher on East Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said a relatively stable China-US relationship bears significance for the two countries, and is also conducive to solving regional and global issues.
“China-US cooperation in areas such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, climate change and energy and food crises is of vital importance for the world,” he said.
The resumption of bilateral communications, starting with the meeting in Bali, shows the will of the two sides, particularly of the US, to improve relations and promote cooperation.