US and Chinese foreign ministers meet in New York on Friday amid tensions over Taiwan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are due to meet on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, their first meeting since talks in July in Bali where the two men showed their willingness to resume dialogue.
A month later, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, traveled to Taiwan, provoking the ire of Beijing and renewed tensions between the two great powers.
In an interview on Sunday, the US President Joe Biden has said he is ready to intervene militarily if China resorts to force, again deviating from US strategic ambiguity.
In a pledge of appeasement, the Chinese minister said Thursday that he met in New York with the United States' climate envoy, the former head of diplomacy John Kerry, despite the fact that Beijing has suspended cooperation in the matter. in retaliation for Ms. Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
In a speech on Thursday, Mr. Wang reiterated Beijing's anger over US support for the island which Beijing sees as part of its territory.
“The issue of Taiwan is becoming the most risky subject of tension in US-China relations,” he noted.
“Should it be mismanaged and it could devastate bilateral relations” between the two countries, he warned before the Asia Society, a research center.
“Just as the United States does not allow Hawaii to leave, China has the right to plead for the unification of the country,” Wang added.
Friday's talks need not none the less make it possible to prepare for a possible first meeting between Mr. Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, probably in Bali in November on the sidelines of a G20 summit.
Mr. Wang said the two countries want to make “the US-China relationship work” without confrontation, while noting that Washington is playing on several fronts at once.
The US Congress is an ardent support for Taiwan. A bill that notably provides for the first direct military aid from the United States to Taiwan recently passed a key stage in the Senate.
Mr. Blinken met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in New York on Thursday and is due, shortly before his meeting with Mr. Wang, to have discussions within the framework of the Quad, which brings together Australia, India and Japan.