China condemns US in phone call ahead of Blinken’s trip to Beijing

June 14 (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang urged the United States to stop interfering in its affairs and harming its security in a phone call with his U.S. counterpart on Wednesday.

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Qin told Blinken to respect China’s core concerns, such as the Taiwan issue, in an effort to arrest deteriorating relations between the superpowers.

Blinken stressed the need for communication to „avoid miscalculations and conflict” and said the U.S. would pursue areas of concern and potential cooperation with China, the State Department said in a brief summary of the call.

If Blinken’s trip goes ahead, it would be the first visit by Washington’s top diplomat to China in five years and the most high-profile visit by the administration of US President Joe Biden, who has clashed with Beijing on issues ranging from espionage allegations to the semiconductor dispute.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has yet to release information about Blinken’s trip, but a US official last Friday said Blinken would be in Beijing on June 18, without giving any other details.

Blinken canceled a planned trip to Beijing to fly over the United States on suspicion of a Chinese spy balloon.

Visits by US officials to the democratically-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers an integral part of China, have also magnified tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

„Since the beginning of this year, Sino-US relations have faced new difficulties and challenges, and the responsibility is clear,” Qin told Blinken, according to a Foreign Ministry readout.

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Qin added that the US should „stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and harming China’s sovereignty, security and development interests in the name of competition.”

(This story has been reprinted to correct US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s first name in paragraph 1)

Reporting in Beijing Newsrun; By Bernard Orr and John Geddy; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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