WASHINGTON – Diplomatic communications United States of America (US) with China remained open after this month’s shooting of China’s spy balloons. However, contacts between the countries’ militaries “unfortunately” remain closed, the White House said, Friday (17/2/2023).
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also said it was not the “right time” for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to travel to China, after he postponed his February 5-6 trip because of the ballooning episode.
Baca: After the US, China’s balloons ‘hang around’ in Taiwan
However, President Joe Biden wants to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping when it is “appropriate”. Kirby told a White House news briefing that US and Chinese diplomats were still able to communicate, despite tensions over the balloon incident.
“I admit that there is tension, but Foreign Minister Blinken is still opening lines of communication with the Foreign Minister. We still have an embassy in Beijing and the Department of Foreign Affairs can also communicate directly with the PRC embassy personnel here,” Kirby said, as quoted by Reuters.
“Unfortunately, the military pathway is not open, and that is what we really want to change,” Kirby continued.
Previously, China had cut off several channels of military-to-military communication and other areas of bilateral dialogue. The move was taken by China after the visit of then US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August last year.
Baca: Shoot Down Chinese Balloons, Biden Apologizes to Xi Jinping
On Thursday, Biden gave a speech focusing on the balloon incident. He said he hoped to talk to Chinese leader Xi Jinping about it and hoped to resolve the issue.
In response to questions, Kirby said Washington had not formally requested a phone call with Xi, but added: “That means nothing is going to happen, that the president doesn’t want to talk to President Xi. He will.”
“There are no prerequisites for calling,” Kirby said. “The president wants to talk to President Xi at the right time,” he continued.
White House officials said Biden and Xi last spoke at their November meeting in Bali and that both sides saw Blinken’s trip to Beijing as an opportunity to follow through on efforts to stabilize increasingly strained relations.
Leave a Reply