The opening session of the meeting between the US and China opens with an unusual confrontation in front of the cameras.
- Diplomacy China and the US insult and threaten each other at their first summit since Biden’s arrival at the White House
- USA China, Joe Biden’s greatest challenge
Temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, hit minus 19 degrees Thursday. Nor was the atmosphere much warmer in the room where those responsible for US and Chinese diplomacy met. In the first head-to-head between the two world powers with Joe Biden In the White House, many of the issues on which the two main rivals for dominance of the global geopolitical chessboard diverge have come up.
The opening session began with an unusual showdown in front of the cameras. The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blink, and the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who had just returned from a trip to Japan and South Korea to strengthen their alliances against China, were the first to speak and strike the first blow against China. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China and Yang Jiechi, member of the Pekn Political Bur.
“We will discuss our deep concerns with China’s actions, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks against the United States, and economic coercion from our allies. Each of these actions threatens the rule-based order it maintains. global stability, “Blinken blurted out as soon as the meeting began. His cover letter was blunt. In Beijing they acknowledge that such a tone was not expected, at least in front of the press. “We do not seek conflict, but we welcome tough competition, and we will always stand up for our principles, our people and our friends,” Sullivan also added.
Before the journalists left the room after the first intervention, as planned, Yang Jiechi wanted to respond publicly with a critical 15-minute speech. “The United States uses its military force and financial hegemony to carry out a long-arm jurisdiction and repress other countries. Abuses the so-called notions of national security to obstruct commercial exchanges normal and incites some countries to attack China, “said Yang, who also holds the post of director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The diplomat replied that Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan were inseparable parts of Chinese territory and that his country firmly opposes US interference in its internal affairs. The representative of Beijing also Embraced the old “yt ms” policy to address your American counterpart. “Human rights in the United States are at a low point with black Americans being massacred. Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in America’s democracy,” he continued. Then the senior Chinese diplomat lowered his tone by adding that it was necessary to “necessary to abandon the Cold War mentality”.
The US State Department did not like Yang’s lengthy speech, criticizing him for “violating an agreed two-minute time limit for opening remarks.” And he noted that the representative of Beijing “seems to have come with the intention of being bombastic, focused on public theatricality and dramaturgy on substance “.
During the first minutes of the meeting, Minister Wang Yi also intervened to protest the latest moves in Washington just before the meeting: sanctioning 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials in response to the new reform of the electoral system in the former British colony. and the revocation of several Chinese telecommunications licenses. “This is not supposed to be the way you are supposed to receive your guests.”protested Wang. “The United States exhausted its first opening remarks and accused China of unreasonable attacks on China’s domestic and foreign policy. It is not a form of hospitality, nor does it conform to diplomatic etiquette,” Yang added.
Before Thursday, both delegations had already approached the meeting differently. For Washington it was a simple session in which they exchanged positions. “This is not a strategic dialogue”, says Blinken. To say, Zhao LijianBeijing Foreign Spokesperson said otherwise: “China, invited by the United States, will hold a high-level strategic dialogue with the US side.” Zhao also asserted that “clique formation” to pressure China – referring to Blinken’s encounters with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts – prior to the Alaska trip were “futile,” and that his country did not expect to solve all the problems with the United States in one meeting.
The strong reprimands in the first high-level meeting between the two world powers, in front of the media so that the public is aware of the great differences between the two countries, push to understand that the new Cold War that began during the legislature of Donald Trump not disappear with the Biden administration. The Democrat came to the White House in the midst of a global crisis and with his biggest rival on the rise: China is the only major economy that grew in 2020 and signed on. the world’s largest trade agreement with 15 Asian countries and an unprecedented investment pact with the European Union.
Aware of this, since the beginning of his mandate, Biden has maintained the pulse of his predecessor to face all the open fronts with China: whether in the military field with the dispute in the South China Sea, with a special focus on Taiwan; the battle of sanctions in Hong Kong after the approval of a security law with which Beijing aims to end the autonomy of the former colony; the trade war in which a truce that both countries agreed to at the beginning of 2020 is pending; the crackdown on the Xinjiang Uyghurs, which the Biden administration has already defined as “genocide.”
As reported yesterday by the newspaper Wall Street JournalAfter the meeting in Alaska is over, they will try from Beijing to seek a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in April. “The Biden-Xi meeting, according to Chinese officials, will be organized around the Earth Day, on April 22, to show that both leaders are focused on combating climate change, “says the US newspaper.
It took Beijing a week to congratulate Biden on his victory in the November presidential election. It was not until early February that both leaders, who know each other very well from their stages as vice presidents, had a first telephone conversation. The call was made from Washington. Sending a congratulations on Chinese New Year was the best excuse to pick up the phone.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism