China warns Blinken over deteriorating ties in talks

China's foreign minister on Friday urged visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to address rising disagreements or risk a "downward spiral" between the two powers after months of efforts to ease tensions.

Blinken, paying his second visit to the rival country in less than a year, voiced hope for progress but said he would directly raise areas of difference, which are expected to include Russia, Taiwan and trade.

China in turn has been infuriated by President Joe Biden's pressure on the economic front — which is unlikely to ease during an election year — including a sweeping ban on semiconductor exports and efforts to wrest blockbuster video app TikTok away from its Chinese owners.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi received Blinken at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in the capital's ancient gardens before tables from the late Qing dynasty and an imposing painting of a Chinese mountain scene.

Wang told Blinken that relations between the world's two largest economies were "beginning to stabilise", especially after Biden and President Xi Jinping met in November near San Francisco.

"But at the same time, the negative factors in the relationship are still increasing and building," Wang said.

Saying that China "advocated respect for each other's core interests", he demanded that the United States not "trample on China's red line" on sovereignty, security and development.

"China's legitimate development rights have been unreasonably suppressed and our core interests are facing challenges," he said.

"Should China and the United States keep in the right direction of moving forward with stability, or return to a downward spiral?

"This is a major question before our two countries and tests our sincerity and ability....

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