High-level Sino-American talks begin in Alaska
Joe Biden’s administration launched the first high-level talks with China, claiming its actions threaten rules-based world order and promising that Washington would protect its allies.
“We do not seek conflict, but we welcome fierce competition, and will always defend our principles, our citizens, and our friends,” said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the beginning of talks with a Chinese delegation in Anchorage, Alaska.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told senior diplomat Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the American side intends to voice its “deep concern” over China’s actions in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as cyberattacks on the United States and economic pressure on allies.
“Each of these actions threatens the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” he said.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that the administration is looking forward to “frank” talks.
Ahead of his arrival in Anchorage, Blinken said at a press conference in Seoul: “We are well aware that Beijing is continually backing down on its commitments, and we talked about how Beijing’s aggressive and authoritarian behavior is challenging the stability, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. region “.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian replied, “China does not compromise on issues related to sovereign security and core interests. His determination to defend his core interests is unshakable. ”
The Biden administration called the US-China relationship “the main geopolitical test of the 21st century.”
Bipartisan lawmakers share this view and are urging the administration to come up with a comprehensive strategy to counter China’s growing influence in the world.
“Today, China is challenging the United States, destabilizing the international community in all aspects of power – political, diplomatic, economic, innovation, military and even cultural – and offers an alternative model of global governance that is deeply troubling,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations Bob Menendez.
Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities see the Anchorage meeting as an opportunity to reset relations after the tense years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“We hope that through this dialogue, both sides will be able to … focus on cooperation, resolve differences and get the relationship between China and the United States back on track,” Zhao Lijian said.
How well the United States will succeed in trying to change Beijing’s course is unknown. The White House says it does not expect any breakthroughs.
“I don’t particularly believe that we will be able to convince China of the fallacy of its approach and the correctness of ours in just a couple of hours of negotiations,” the administration official said.