On Saturday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Munich to attempt to improve bilateral ties after a Chinese surveillance balloon incident. In a statement, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the department, said Blinken “directly spoke to the unacceptable violation of U.S. sovereignty and international law by the PRC high-altitude surveillance balloon in U.S. territorial airspace, underscoring that this irresponsible act must never again occur.” He also noted North Korea’s destabilizing act of testing an intercontinental ballistic missile and urged for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” as worries of a potential Chinese attack on the self-governing island increase.
The meeting, which was the first face-to-face exchange between the two sides since the surveillance balloon incident, was held on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference and was originally planned for a visit to Beijing, which Blinken had to cancel. Wang had previously raised tensions at the conference by repeating the Chinese regime’s claims that the U.S. decision to shoot down the balloon was “absurd, almost hysterical” and demanded the U.S. “correct its mistakes” to “show sincerity.”
After the meeting, Blinken reiterated Biden’s statements, saying that the U.S. will “compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC and are not looking for a new Cold War.” He also emphasized the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication.