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US urged to stop provocations

Maritime consultations viewed as step forward in helping manage any crisis

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-29 00:00
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Washington's provocative moves in the waters off China's doorstep were among the top concerns raised by Beijing at the recently concluded second round of China-US consultations on maritime affairs.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the meeting was held via video link on Friday.

Analysts noted that the meeting was among a number of recent significant official dialogues between Beijing and Washington, including the first meeting of the China-US Intergovernmental Dialogue on Artificial Intelligence earlier this month in Geneva.

Such talks are helpful in minimizing miscalculations and for rolling out necessary crisis management measures on sensitive topics or aspects, such as the Taiwan question and the South China Sea issue, they added.

The co-chairs of the maritime dialogue were Hong Liang, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, and Mark Baxter Lambert, the US State Department's China coordinator and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

"The two sides exchanged views on the maritime situation and ocean-related issues", and the two countries agreed to "carry forward dialogue and communication, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and manage and control risks at sea", the ministry said.

China voiced its solemn concern over the US violating China's rights and the US' provocative acts in waters around China.

It urged the US to "seriously respect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and refrain from meddling in maritime disputes between China and its neighbors", the statement said.

Beijing asked Washington not to gang up with allies to contain China using the oceans, and not to undermine the peace and stability of the region.

On the Taiwan question, China emphasized that the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations and an important basis for dialogue between the two sides on maritime issues.

Beijing stressed that so-called "Taiwan independence" activities are the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

The US should immediately stop supporting and condoning the forces of "Taiwan independence" and put into practice its commitment to not supporting "Taiwan independence", it said.

Diao Daming, a professor of US studies at Renmin University of China's School of International Relations, noted that although China-US ties have stopped their free fall, as the two sides have rolled out cooperation in some areas, "this does not necessarily mean that China can live with the US' suppression and containment moves in some other areas".

"While China sincerely looks to stabilize its US ties, we have also seen the twofold approach of the US," he said. "The perpetuation of such an approach is not conducive to the stabilization of China-US relations and will bring more potential harm."

The two nations held the first round of maritime affairs consultations in Beijing in November.

Last month, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing, and the two sides reached a five-point consensus that included the convening of the second round of consultations on maritime affairs.

Also last month, the two countries' militaries held the annual working group meeting of the China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement mechanism in Hawaii.




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