Taiwan: the head of Chinese diplomacy will speak with an American advisor

Wang Yi and Jake Sullivan are about to meet in Thailand for a discussion about Taiwan. The rapprochement between the United States and the island has been the subject of tensions with China for several years now.

The head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yii, will discuss Taiwan this week in Thailand with Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to American President Joe Biden, China said on Friday, against a backdrop of appeasement between the two powers. Sino-American relations have deteriorated in recent years due to several issues: ties with Taiwan, trade, rivalry in new technologies, the struggle for influence in the Asia-Pacific, the South China Sea and even human rights. But the two countries seem eager to renew dialogue, with Washington sending several senior officials to Beijing last year and a meeting in November between Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California.

“Wang Yi will visit Thailand from January 26 to 29,” Chinese diplomacy said in a statement, specifying that he will meet with Jake Sullivan during his stay in Bangkok. The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs “will share China’s position on Sino-American relations and on the issue of Taiwan,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, later indicated. “He will exchange views with the American side on international and regional issues of common interest,” he said. “This meeting is a continuation of the commitment made by both parties at the summit (…) in November 2023 between President Biden and President Xi to maintain strategic communication and manage relations responsibly », indicated for its part the White House.

Taiwan at the heart of tensions

Jake Sullivan met Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and other senior officials in Bangkok on Friday, the two countries said. They discussed “regional and global issues, including efforts to address the worsening crisis in Burma,” where fighting pits the ruling junta and ethnic armed groups in the north of the country, the statement said. White House. A 70-year-old seasoned diplomat, Wang Yi estimated in January that through “relentless efforts”, bilateral relations had “stopped deteriorating” and had “stabilized” despite “serious difficulties” last year. pass.

Relations between the two countries, however, remain tense around the question of the island of Taiwan (officially “the Republic of China”), which Beijing (“the People’s Republic of China”) considers an integral part of Chinese territory. The island is at the heart of Sino-American tensions because the United States, which does not officially recognize Taiwan, is the main supplier of arms to the Taiwanese authorities. China considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces, which it has not yet managed to reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

A rapprochement criticized

She says she favors “peaceful” reunification with the island, where the approximately 23 million inhabitants are governed by a democratic system. But it has never renounced the use of military force, particularly in the event of a formal declaration of independence for the island. China takes a dim view of the increase in recent years in contacts between American and Taiwanese politicians, which it considers to be breaches of the United States’ commitment not to have official relations with Taipei.

Two American lawmakers visited Taiwan on Wednesday in a show of support after the recent Taiwanese presidential election won by Lai Ching-te, who considers the island to be de facto independent and promised to protect it from Beijing’s “threats and intimidation.” . This visit by parliamentarians is the second visit by an American delegation at the start of the year. It comes after Nauru, a small Pacific state, said it was severing diplomatic ties with Taipei to restore ties with Beijing. A decision deemed “disappointing” by Washington. China also views with concern the strengthening of military ties between the United States and the Philippines, seen by the Asian giant as a way of thwarting its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

This article is originally published on lefigaro.fr

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