Yang Jiechi, the top foreign policy aide to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, told Blinken during their Friday call that the US should “correct recent mistakes, and work with China to promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations by upholding the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” according to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Yang emphasized that both sides should respect the other’s core interests, as well as political systems and developmental paths of their own choosing, the statement said.
“Each side should focus on taking care of its own domestic affairs. China will firmly continue down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no one can stop the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Yang said.
During the phone call Friday, Yang highlighted several major sources of continued tension between the two countries, including Taiwan.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democratic island of almost 24 million people, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Beijing has stepped up military activity around Taiwan since Biden took office, sending combat aircraft, including H-6K bombers, into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on several occasions in what was seen as a direct message to the new US administration that China will not relent on its claims of sovereignty over the island.
Yang also warned Blinken that issues relating to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are China’s internal affairs, and that the country would not tolerate any external interference.
The US State Department has previously estimated that up to two million Uyghurs, as well as members of other Muslim minority groups, have been detained in a sprawling network of internment camps in the region.
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