China-US relations stable despite US ‘interference’, Chinese official says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 4:40 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) – Relations between Beijing and Washington are stabilising despite U.S. actions that harm Chinese interests, a Chinese foreign ministry has said ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In laying out goals for the visit, the unnamed official, described as director-general of the foreign ministry’s department of North American and Oceanian affairs, said relations should stabilise and advance on a sustainable path.

But he said Chinese interests and its “bottom line” must be safeguarded, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

“The United States stubbornly promotes the strategy of containing China, continuously adopts erroneous words and actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs, smear China’s image, and harm China’s interests,” the official was quoted as saying.

During Blinken’s visit, China will focus on strengthening understanding and dialogue, managing differences and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation and shared responsibilities, the official added.

The trip will be Blinken’s first to China since June, when the United States was trying to restore high-level engagements after “spy balloon” incidents, and increased tensions around Taiwan were souring relations.

Since then, friction has eased, but Blinken is expected to raise a number of concerns related to the South China Sea, the Russia-Ukraine war and the crisis in the Middle East, among others.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden recently held talks that touched on hot-button issues, most notably ongoing confrontations in the South China Sea, and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Xi had said ties between the China and the U.S. were beginning to stabilize, but that they could “slide into conflict or confrontation”, according to Xinhua.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Kevin Liffey)