US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Chinese counterpart that China’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine is exacerbating the US-Chinese relations at a time when they are already “beset by rifts and enmity over” a long list of other issues. 

However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed the US for deteriorating their diplomatic relations. He stated that American policy had been thwarted by what he referred to as a mistaken perception of China as a “threat. 

“Many people believe that the United States is suffering from a China-phobia. If such threat-expansion is allowed to grow, the US policy toward China will be a dead end with no way out.”

During their first in-person meeting since October, Blinken said he voiced “deep concern” about China’s standpoint on Russia’s activities in Ukraine. However, he did not believe Beijing’s objections that it is unbiased in the discord. The discussion lasted for five hours. 

The talks had already been scheduled as a concerted effort to take the opportunity to control or moderate the escalating antagonism which has come to characterize recent ties between Washington and Beijing.

China’s Hybrid Position

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali Saturday, July 9, 2022. (Source: Stefani Reynolds/Pool Photo via Associated Press)

After the conference, which took place in Bali, Indonesia, Blinken told reporters that they were “concerned” about the People’s Republic of China’s position with Russia. He said it is difficult to be “neutral” in a struggle with an apparent adversary and that he does not believe “China is acting in a way that is neutral.”

The Chinese statement said that both parties had an in-depth exchange of discourse on Ukraine but did not indicate any other relevant information regarding the subject.

The US administration had anticipated that China, which has a “long history” of resisting what it perceives to be meddling in its domestic affairs, would take a posture comparable to that of the US about Russia and Ukraine. But unfortunately, it has not done so, opting for what US officials interpret as a “hybrid position” harmful to the international order founded on principles.