Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 19, 2023

Newsline: China’s foreign ministry warns U.S. of ‘consequences’ over balloon incident

China warned the United States on Sunday it would “bear all the consequences” if it escalated the controversy over a Chinese balloon that the U.S. military shot down this month. Beijing will “follow through to the end” in the event “the U.S. insists on taking advantage of the issue”, the foreign ministry said in a statement. (https://neuters.de/world/china/china-warns-us-suffer-consequences-if-it-escalates-balloon-incident-2023-02-19/) A U.S. military jet on Feb. 4 shot down what Washington calls a Chinese spy balloon after it had crossed North America. Beijing says it was an errant weather-monitoring craft. China’s statement followed a meeting between top diplomat Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Newsline: Japan’s top diplomat announces security talks with China

Japan and China will hold security talks next week, Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said after meeting his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The agreement to hold the security talks, the first to be held in four years, came after Hayashi and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi spoke ahead of the conference. “It is important for us to have frank discussions precisely because there are a number of pressing matters in our relationship”, Hayashi said to reporters, highlighting a territorial spat in the East China Sea and increasing Chinese and Russian military presence around Japanese waters as some of the issues that need to be discussed. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/japan-china-hold-security-talks-next-week-japan-foreign-minister-says-2023-02-18/) The disputed East China Sea islets claimed by both China and Japan have long been a sticking point in bilateral relations. China calls the islands Diaoyu, while Japan calls them Senkaku. Japan and China will hold talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a statement released by Japan’s foreign ministry.

Newsline: U.S., China’s top diplomats met in Munich

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Saturday with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, a senior State Department official said. “We can confirm that Secretary Blinken concluded a meeting with … Wang Yi on the margins of the Munich Security Conference,” the State Department official said by email, on condition of anonymity. (https://neuters.de/world/china-swipes-hysterical-us-global-security-gathering-2023-02-18/) Less than two hours before, a Reuters witness had seen Blinken’s motorcade leave his hotel for an undisclosed location. The dispute over the balloon – which flew over the United States and Canada before being shot down on President Joe Biden’s orders, hurt bilateral relations.