China’s Qin Gang airs concerns in call with US’s Antony Blinken

China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang has urged the United States to stop meddling in its affairs and harming its security in a phone call with Antony Blinken, days before the US secretary of state is expected to visit Beijing.

Qin told Blinken to respect China’s “core concerns”, such as Taiwan, and “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s sovereignty, security and development interests in the name of competition”, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday.

Blinken, meanwhile, stressed the need for communication “to avoid miscalculation and conflict” and said the US would continue to raise areas of concern as well as potential cooperation with China, the State Department said after the call.

If Blinken’s trip goes ahead, it will be the first visit to China by Washington’s top diplomat in five years and the highest-profile visit during US President Joe Biden’s administration, which has clashed with Beijing over issues ranging from Taiwan to trade and condemned an April meeting in California between current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Qin noted China-US ties had “encountered new difficulties and challenges” since the beginning of the year, and the two sides had a responsibility to work together to properly manage differences, promote exchanges and cooperation, and stabilise relations.

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