Tensions flare, on camera, at first US-China talks of Biden presidency
The US and China leveled sharp rebukes of each others’ policies in the first high-level, in-person talks of the Biden administration on Thursday, with deeply strained relations of the two global rivals on rare public display during the meeting’s opening session in Alaska.
The US, which quickly accused China of “grandstanding” and violating the meeting’s protocol, had been looking for a change in behaviour from China, itself having expressed earlier this year a hope to reset sour relations.
On the eve of the talks, Beijing had presaged what would be a contentious meeting, with its ambassador to Washington saying the United States was full of illusions if it thinks China will compromise.
Sparring in a highly unusual extended back-and-forth in front of cameras, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan opened their meeting with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Anchorage, fresh from Blinken’s visits to allies Japan and South Korea.
“We will … discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies,” Blinken said in blunt public remarks.
“Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” he said.
‘This is not the way to deal with the Chinese people’
Beijing’s response was equally sharp with Yang delivering a 15-minute speech in Chinese while the US side awaited translation, lashing out about what he said was the United States’ struggling democracy, poor treatment of minorities, and criticising its foreign and trade policies.
“The United States uses its military force and financial hegemony to carry out long arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries,” Yang said.
“It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges, and incite some countries to attack China,” he added…..read more