24 Sep 2022, 11:18

Blinken urges calm on Taiwan in talks with China

 NEW YORK, Sept 24, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Friday for calm over Taiwan as he met his Chinese counterpart, as soaring tensions showed signs of easing a notch.

Blinken met for 90 minutes with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, in talks a US official described as "extremely candid" and focused largely on Taiwan.

Blinken "stressed that preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is critical to regional and global security and prosperity," a State Department statement said.

He "discussed the need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-PRC relationship, especially during times of tension," it added, using the acronym for the People's Republic of China.

A State Department official described the exchange on Taiwan as "direct and honest."

The official said Blinken also renewed US warnings not to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine, amid guarded US hopes that Beijing is taking a distance from Moscow, nominally its ally.

Wang met in New York with Ukraine's foreign minister for the first time since the war and, in a Security Council session Thursday, emphasized the need for a ceasefire rather than support for Russia.

Blinken, who went ahead with the talks despite the death of his father the previous day, met Wang for the first time since a sit-down in July in Bali, where both sides appeared optimistic for more stability.

One month later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

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