US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Sunday on the sidelines of the “G20” summit in Rome, which is the second meeting between them in the midst of Sino-US tensions.
“US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit,” the State Department said in a statement.
This meeting is on Blinken’s agenda for Sunday, and is only the second between the two men, in the midst of Sino-US tensions. The first meeting between them took place in March in Alaska, and the Chinese delegation at that time reprimanded the American side in front of the cameras.
Tensions are rising between the world’s two largest economies on a number of fronts, including trade, human rights, the Taiwan issue and the COVID-19 epidemic.
Earlier this week, Washington ordered China Telecom Americas to stop its services within 60 days, ending nearly 20 years of operations in the country, adding to the strain in relations between the two powers.
This week, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed the presence of a small number of US troops on the island to assist with the military exercises, adding that she had “full confidence” that the US military would defend the country in the event of a Chinese attack.
These statements angered Beijing, which confirmed Thursday its opposition to military contacts between Washington and Taiwan.
Beijing considers Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million, an integral part of Chinese territory.
Although the United States and China, the two nuclear powers and the primary economic powers in the world, are fighting a cold war in a number of contentious issues between them, their dispute over Taiwan is the only issue that is likely to provoke an armed confrontation between them.