Blinken and Chinese diplomats meet in Jakarta to resolve rivalry

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Chinese diplomat Wang Yi will meet in Bali on July 9, 2022.  AFP/File
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Chinese diplomat Wang Yi will meet in Bali on July 9, 2022. AFP/File

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Jakarta in a significant development that underscores rising tensions between the United States and China.

The meeting is taking place as officials from the two countries gather in Indonesia for ASEAN meetings, the latest in a series of talks between the rival superpowers. The purpose of negotiation is to manage strained relations and prevent further conflict.

During their second meeting in as many months, Blinken and Wang will engage in discussions on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Plus-3 Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. The significance of the meeting lies in the recent flurry of diplomacy between the world’s two largest economies, which are grappling with a range of issues including China’s regional assertiveness and US sanctions on semiconductor exports.

Although both countries acknowledge the need to manage the relationship, no breakthrough is expected at this stage. The primary goal is to prevent friction from turning into outright conflict. As one analyst suggests, “It’s about managing the competition…trying to keep things from spiraling out of control.”

The meeting follows Blinken’s historic visit to Beijing last month, the first by a US secretary of state in five years. During the visit, President Xi Jinping met with Wang and Foreign Minister Qin Gang at Blinken. These events, along with recent visits by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and climate envoy John Kerry, highlight ongoing efforts to stabilize the intense rivalry between the superpowers.

However, it is important to note that tensions remain high, as evidenced by recent events. Microsoft’s disclosure that Chinese hackers broke into US government email accounts, including the State Department’s, has added another layer of complexity to an already strained relationship. Nevertheless, the two sides are keen to continue diplomatic engagement, with a possible summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping expected later this year.

The Jakarta meetings, involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and partner countries, provided a platform for Blinken and Wang to address their countries’ respective interests and concerns. Although the focus of discussions may be on managing conflicts, the meetings also aim to promote stability and seek avenues for cooperation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top