Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


EU envoys agree for first China sanctions in three decades: Diplomats

US Sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong Officials Ahead of Talks China's ambassador to US says he doesn't have 'high expectations' for Alaska summit with Biden officials
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2021, 04:18

As the USA and China kick-start their first talks since Joe Biden became American President, White House (WH) National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan crossed wires, via Reuters, while signaling the tough talks with Beijing.

"Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability", Blinken said of China's actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and of cyber attacks on the United States and economic coercion against US allies.

Financial sanctions will be imposed on officials deemed responsible for Beijing's ongoing crackdown on the former British colony, including Wang Chen, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's 25-person Politburo, as well as Tam Yiu-chung, the sole Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body.

"We will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way", Blinken said in Japan.

Dispensing with the pomp and circumstance associated with official visits, the four officials are set to hold formal business meetings instead of stately affairs that entail banquets and cultural events.

"The United States stands united with our allies and partners in speaking out for the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong, and we will respond when the PRC fails to meet its obligations", he added.

"There's no room for China to compromise on issues related to sovereign security and core interests, and its determination and will to safeguard its core interests is unwavering", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

Before taking office, U.S. President Joe Biden had been attacked by Republicans who feared his administration would take too soft approach with China. Still, the Biden administration has taken a firm stance against China's human rights abuses and unfair trade practices.

Washington says Blinken's Asia tour before the meeting with Chinese officials, as well as US outreach to Europe, India and other partners, shows how the United States has strengthened its hand to confront China since Biden took office in January. The U.S. side has explicitly rejected that, calling it a one-off session.

Starting last October, the United States had already sanctioned 10 officials including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming.

But as USA officials downplayed the meeting, calling it a "one-off" that entails no intention of "follow-on engagements", Chinese messaging dimmed in response, with the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, saying, "We don't hold overly high hopes".

China, however, indicated this week that it is set to begin trials of two Canadians detained in December 2018 on spying charges soon after Canadian police detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecoms equipment company Huawei Technologies, on a US warrant. "This is a meeting that our national security adviser and secretary of state are attending, and I wouldn't build it out beyond there at this point in time".

The gathering follows a flurry of diplomatic activity between the United States and countries in the Indo-Pacific that share concerns over China's growing assertiveness in the region. They may also discuss issues of potential cooperation like climate change and nuclear nonproliferation.

It also as gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, the condemnation of its affairs in Hong Kong.

"Is this a decision made by the United States to try to gain some advantage in dealing with China?"

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