‘Stop using salami tactics,’ China tells US
The US must drop its “old trick of unilateral bullying” that it has been serving up to China, Beijing's foreign minister, Wang Yi, has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The two top diplomats had a phone call at Washington's request, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“It must be pointed out that the United States should not pursue dialogue and cooperation while containing and stabbing China in the back,” Wang told Blinken, according to the readout of the call circulated by Beijing. “In effect, it is still the old trick of unilateral bullying. It has not worked with China in the past, nor will it work in the future.”
Wang added that Washington “must take seriously China's legitimate concerns, stop containing and suppressing China's development, and particularly stop using salami tactics to constantly challenge China's red line,” referring to the negotiation practice of repeatedly securing small, incremental concessions.
Washington and Beijing should build on the “common understandings” reached by the US and Chinese presidents during their recent meeting in Indonesia, Wang stressed. “The zero-sum mentality will only lead the two major countries to mutual attrition and head-on collision. And it cannot be more obvious who is in the right and who is in the wrong,” he stated.
According to the Chinese side, Blinken reiterated Washington’s respect towards the One-China policy and said it “does not support Taiwan’s ‘independence.’”
“The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue. Wang Yi stressed that China always stands for peace,” the ministry added.
The US Department of State released a tight-lipped readout of the talks as well, stating only that Blinken had “discussed the need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage” the bilateral relationship. The US also said its top diplomat “raised concerns about Russia’s war against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability” during the phone call.
Over the past few years, China-US relations have been plagued by multiple issues, with the Taiwan problem still the main one. While formally following the One-China policy and recognizing Beijing’s sovereignty over the island, Washington has been actively cooperating with Taipei.
Visits of senior US officials to Taiwan, as well as booming military cooperation between Taipei and Washington, have repeatedly raised objections from Beijing, which sees such activities as meddling in its internal affairs.
Taiwan has been de-facto independent since 1949 when the losing side in the Chinese Civil war relocated to the island and established its own administration there. China considers the island an inalienable part of its territory.