In an interview with NPR, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described two days of diplomatic talks in China as “candid, substantive, and constructive,” while acknowledging the two sides had “profound differences.”
Referring to the significance of the two countries’ relations, he said “it would be irresponsible” to not engage with China, as well as “counterproductive to our interests.”
Consistent communication is “the best way to avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations that could lead to conflict,” and it’s “probably the only way” to get detained Americans back from China, to “produce cooperation on fentanyl,” and to “defend the interests of our workers and our companies who are operating in China.”
When asked whether China is replacing the United States as a global conflict mediator, particularly in the Middle East, Blinken added that the US “remains far and away the preferred partner” for the Persian Gulf countries.
“At the same time,” he added, “if China takes initiatives that actually help solve problems… that’s a good thing, and we support it.”
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