Bali: US State Secretary Antony Blinken met with his Chinese Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia’s Bali in a bid to reinforce guardrails on the relationship between Washington and Beijing that had become fraught with hostility.

“In a relationship as complex and consequential as the one between the United States and China, there is a lot to talk about. I very much am looking forward to a productive and construction conversation with you.” said Blinken according to a statement by the US State Department ahead of the meeting.

“There is no substitute for face-to-face diplomacy,” Blinken said.

Blinken and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi last met in Rome, Italy in October 2021. Blinken underscored the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

During that meeting, Blinken raised concerns about a range of PRC actions that undermine the international rules-based order and that run counter to our values and interests and those of our allies and partners, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, the East and South China Seas, and Taiwan.

Bali is currently hosting the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from July 7-8. The meeting between Blinken and Wang Yi comes amid reports that US President Joe Biden could lift the tariff on some Chinese imports in an effort to slow down the soaring rates of inflation.

The Biden administration is wrapping up a mandatory review of tariffs on Chinese imports, which were earlier imposed by former President Donald Trump. Biden has on several occasions postponed plans to cut tariffs due to policy disagreements among his own senior aides and Cabinet secretaries.

US officials hope the meeting could bring stability to the US-China ties as tensions over the Taiwan issue escalate between the two powers.

“A key goal of the meeting will be to reinforce guardrails on the relationship so that our competition does not spill over into miscalculation or confrontation,” said one of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a meeting prior to its announcement as citied in US media.

The meeting would focus in part on the war in Ukraine, providing Blinken with a chance to relay US concerns about China’s deepening relationship with Moscow, the report added.

Beijing has urged an end to the fighting but has not participated in the sanctions imposed on Russia.

This year’s G20 Indonesia gathering represents a challenge for the West as they seek to advance a global agenda on food and energy security while isolating Russia.

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