After meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that “military-to-military contacts” with the country are still a work in progress, as Beijing is refusing to cooperate with the United States.
Speaking to National Public Radio (NPR), Blinken summarized his visit to China as “candid” and “constructive,” but admitted to “profound differences” as the two nations seek to repair “unstable” relations with eachother. One such differences that remains, Blinken said, is military action.
“These military-to-military contacts are hugely important if we’re going to avoid an unintentional conflict, and that was only reinforced over the last couple of weeks,” Blinken explained to NPR. He then cited “dangerous… unprofessional” moves by China “on the seas [and] in the skies,” a likely reference to the spy balloon episode that delayed his visit to China earlier in the year.
Commenting on Taiwan, the Secretary of State emphasized the importance of trying to maintain peace with the nation that China treats as its own. Taiwan is a massive contributor to the global trade market.
“About 50% of the global commercial container traffic… goes through the Taiwan Strait every day,” Blinken remarked, including the vast majority of “high-end semiconductors.”
If either of those things were taken offline as a result of a crisis, it could have devastating consequences for the global economy,” he told the national radio.
Speaking to reporters, Blinken stated “progress is hard” and will take “more than one visit” to realize future goals between the two.