China’s new ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Washington Thursday, in the first senior diplomatic meeting between China and the U.S. since Qin took up his post in the U.S. capital in July. Qin, 55, had served as vice-minister of foreign affairs since 2018, and from 2011-14, was spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Rita Cheng of RFA’s Mandarin Service spoke briefly to Qin after his meeting with Sherman, which comes amid the highest level of friction between Beijing and Washington in decades. He said he reiterated China’s longstanding positions on Taiwan, a self-governing island over which China claims sovereignty.
RFA: The meeting took more than one hour. How was it?
Qin: It was fine.
RFA: What are your expectations for the future of Sino-U.S. relations?
Qin: We had a deep and candid conversation, and we also exchanged views with each other comprehensively. Both sides recognized the importance of the China-U.S. relationship and agreed to make efforts on improving our relations.
We also agreed to keep up the dialogue and further communication in the future. Both sides will address the concerns based on the principle of mutual benefit.
RFA: What are the issues that concern China the most? Did you raise them during the meeting?
Qin: Certainly the concerns we have are things such as how to work together to overcome the difficulties, and how to promote the improvement and development on our bilateral relationship. We must try our best to reduce the troubles, manage our differences and expand cooperation. There are a lot of things to do. We should start step by step.
Translated by Rita Cheng.
This content originally appeared on Radio Free Asia and was authored by Radio Free Asia.