NThe first American-Chinese ministerial meeting since the change of office in the White House has come to an end, sometimes fierce arguments in front of the cameras. Both sides adopted more conciliatory tones on Friday at the end of the two-day deliberations in the American state of Alaska, but emphasized their differences.
At the start of Thursday, Joe Biden’s Foreign Minister Antony Blinken accused the Chinese leadership of threatening “the rule-based order” “through which global stability is maintained”. His Chinese colleague Wang Yi, for his part, accused Washington of interfering in China’s internal affairs. “In response to that, we will take tough action.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s chief foreign policy officer, Yang Jiechi, called for the “cold war mentality” and the “zero-sum game attitude” to be abandoned in the relationship between the two countries. Both countries shared common interests, for example in the fight against the corona pandemic and climate change.
“America’s values are not global values”
The United States must “stop promoting its own democracy in the rest of the world,” Yang said. The “vast majority of countries in the world do not recognize American values as global values,” he said, according to the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Blinken responded with a counter charge. “I have to tell you: what I hear is very different from what you are describing. I hear of great concern about some of your government’s actions. “
Relations between the two largest world powers are currently very tense. “We begin these talks with an awareness that China has an ancient and troubling tendency to fail to keep its promises,” said the State Department. The Chinese side made it clear that the People’s Republic would “not compromise on its sovereignty, security and interests”.
Contentious issues Americans raised included the long-simmering conflicts over Taiwan and Tibet, cyberattacks on the United States, unfair trade practices, and China’s dealings with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Hard discussions as expected
In closing, US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, stated, “We expected to have tough, face-to-face discussions on many subjects, and that is exactly what happened.” to have a very frank conversation, ”added Blinken, mentioning overlapping interests on Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and the climate.
Yang praised the talks in the city of Anchorage as “open, constructive and useful”. But there are still “some very important differences,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.
At the last bilateral meeting in June, there was a Cold War mood that had developed during the tenure of then President Donald Trump.
So far, Biden has not indicated that he could approach the leadership in Beijing more friendly than Trump. However, his team takes credit for being more methodical on the international stage than Trump. This should succeed in working together with China on common challenges such as climate change, the corona pandemic and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons despite all the differences.
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