Saturday, 19 June, 2021


United States attacks on China at dialogue 'not the way to treat guests'

China's ambassador to US says he doesn't have 'high expectations' for Alaska summit with Biden officials US, China clash in 1st high-level meeting since Biden took office
Melba Vasquez | 19 March, 2021, 12:18

Chinese social media was rife with nationalistic comments commending the diplomats, mostly on videos of Mr Yang's remarks telling the United States not to be condescending. While both sides called for cooperation on issues like the coronavirus pandemic or climate change, it's unclear how they'll be able to compartmentalize those issues with tensions spilling out into public remarks and bubbling up in increasingly frenzied domestic audiences back home.

For more than an hour, top officials traded barbs at what would normally be a photo-opahead of a two day meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

US officials are looking for China to change its behavior if it wants to reset sour relations as the two sides prepare to meet in Alaska on Thursday, but Beijing has said Washington is full of illusions if it thinks it will compromise.

The Dutch parliament followed Canada and the United States in labelling China's treatment of the Uighur's genocide, which China rejects.

Mr. Zhao urged the USA against talking tough and engaging in "megaphone diplomacy" toward China after Washington said it meant to show its firmness against Beijing after a round of alliance-building across Asia.

USA and Chinese officials have exchanged sharp rebukes in the first high-level talks between the Biden administration and China, taking place in Alaska.

"We are clear-eyed about Beijing's consistent failure to uphold its commitments, and we spoke about how Beijing's aggressive and authoritarian behavior are challenging the stability, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region", he said.

What Chinese officials showed in Anchorage, Alaska, is that they won't back down either.

China's foreign ministry said the timing of the trials had nothing to do with the Anchorage talks.

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. USA officials in Alaska said they wanted to avoid a simple recitation of talking points and create space for the two sides to discuss issues and ask each other questions.

"This will be a frank conversation in calling out Beijing's actions", State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said.

The meetings were seen as a first step in rebuilding badly-damaged ties between the two countries, however the U.S. predicted before the meeting that discussions would be "pretty tough".

Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also attended a key summit between leaders of the so-called Quad alliance, which groups the US, Australia, Japan and India as a check on China's ambitions. Analysts say China hopes the meeting will lay the groundwork for concrete negotiations.

China's ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai, on Wednesday told Chinese media that the United States should discard its illusions if it thinks senior Chinese officials would travel all the way to "frigid and icy" Alaska just to "make compromises and concessions".

Prior to the talks, Blinken had been on a tour of U.S. allies in Asia on hard terms with Beijing. Almost half of Americans say China is their country's greatest enemy, according to the Pew Research Center, a figure that has doubled in the previous year.

Blinken had made clear he would open the discussions from a tone of confrontation.

"Among the factors that drive the administration's messaging is not wanting to expose a flank and invite criticism of being appeasing to Beijing", said Danny Russel, a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former career diplomat.

Following the exchange, a senior United States administration official said China had immediately "violated" agreed-to protocol, which was two minutes of opening remarks by each of the principals.

But in recent weeks, top Republicans have given the president a gentle nod for revitalising relations with United States allies in order to confront China, a shift from former President Donald Trump's go-it-alone "America First" strategy.

"Is that the way that you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?" said Yang, according to CNN reporter Kevin Liptak.

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