Jakarta, 14 July 2023 (TDI): Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jakarta on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit taking place in the capital of Indonesia.

The purpose of this significant meeting was to hold “in-depth and constructive” talks aiming to discuss the recalibration of US-China relations following the strategic guidance provided by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the former visit of Blinken to China.

During the meeting, Wang noted that both countries had developed a common understanding, particularly regarding their decision to return to the “Bali agenda”.

Having that said, He then stressed that the translation of shared understanding between both countries into concrete actions is the next critical step towards mitigating the challenges in US-China cooperative relations.

Also, he urged the US to reflect upon the root causes and challenges to China-US cooperation and called for rational collaboration such as advanced consultations on the guiding principle of US-China relations, expanded diplomatic and security channels and enhanced people-to-people exchanges.

US-China Rivalry and Taiwan Question

Regarding the Taiwan question, Wang urged the US to refrain from interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He further called for an end to economic, trade, science, and technology blocks and the removal of illegal and unwarranted sanctions against China.

He emphasized that both countries are the most influential countries and should be focused on respecting regional countries’ efforts, supporting ASEAN centrality, and preventing disputes and complex factors from affecting regional cooperation.

Above all, the meeting provided an opportunity for both sides to engage in constructive exchanges, fostering understanding and acknowledging the importance of dialogue and open communication.

Director Wang and Secretary Blinken affirmed their commitment to ongoing communication, which will hopefully contribute to the further development of bilateral relations.

ASEAN’s Annual Security-focused Summit

The annual foreign ministers’ meeting of ASEAN was held in Jakarta, in which top diplomats from China, Russia and the US and other Southeast Asian foreign ministers participated.

The talks between the ministers were well dominated by Geopolitical flare-ups including the Russia-Ukraine crisis, North Korea’s missile launches, U.S.-China rivalry and the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

The annual foreign ministers’ meeting of ASEAN was held in Jakarta, in which top diplomats from China, Russia and the US and other Southeast Asian foreign ministers participated

Regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Blinken stated, “I didn’t hear anything from Foreign Minister Lavrov that suggested any change in direction when it comes to what Russia is doing in Ukraine.”

It is noted that earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview that the West has an “obsessive desire” to defeat Russia, further adding that, the war will persist until the Western powers abandon their desires to dominate and defeat Russia strategically.

With respect to North Korea’s provocative missile launches, Blinken highlighted how this can be more dangerous to world peace than the South China Sea and Taiwan issue; he then called for cooperation and collaboration to make peace in the Indo-Pacific.

He said, “We need to work together to end North Korea’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction programme and ballistic missile launches.”

Most importantly, the forum strongly criticized Myanmar’s ruling military for alleged brutalities against civilians. Since 2021 when the military seized power in the country, there has been an increased escalation of violence, with fighter jets and heavy artillery deployed to suppress pro-democracy fighters.

Also read: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a visit to China

Moreover, the generals of Myanmar were not even included in the meeting due to the fact that they failed to fulfil a two-year-old agreement aiming to end hostilities and promote dialogue.

The meeting was concluded with the issuance of a communiqué over 30 hours after the foreign ministers’ meeting, condemning the ongoing violence in Myanmar.