Published: Fri, March 19, 2021
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Biden admin urged to raise China's aggressive behaviour in its neighbourhood, Taiwan

Biden admin urged to raise China's aggressive behaviour in its neighbourhood, Taiwan

The run-up to the meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, which followed visits by USA officials to allies Japan and South Korea, was marked by a flurry of moves by Washington that showed it was taking a tough stance, and blunt talk from Beijing.

The US side will "discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including Xinjiang", where Washington has accused Beijing of "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, Blinken said.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it would not make concessions to the US on key issues, including Xinjiang and Hong Kong, ahead of high-level meetings between the two countries' diplomats in Alaska.

Meanwhile, Beijing is hoping for a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping and for relaxation on sanctions.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi replied by saying that Western nations don't represent global public opinion and called the USA the "champion" of cyber-attacks.

"Sanctions are confrontational", the Chinese mission said on Twitter.

He pointed out that China has always been an important force in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, with established partnerships with 112 countries and global organizations, participated in more than 100 intergovernmental worldwide organizations, signed more than 500 multilateral treaties, and dispatched the largest number of peacekeeping troops among the permanent members of the Security Council.

Throughout Yang's monologue, US National Security Adviser Sullivan and other officials in the delegation passed notes to each other.

The official said the two sides had agreed on two-minute opening statements that ended up going for more than an hour.

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

Both sides accused the other of violating diplomatic protocol, with a United States official saying the two had initially agreed two minutes of opening statements by each of the principals.

"The Chinese delegation. seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance", the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters in Anchorage, according to Reuters.

The official accused Yang of breaking protocol and dismissed the spat as "exaggerated diplomatic presentations. aimed at a domestic audience" in a statement to reporters afterward.

Three facets - competition, tension and cooperation - made up the US-China relationship, said government advisor Zhu Feng, and the events at Anchorage only highlighed one part of that.

China, in turn, has indicated that it wants the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, including limitations on USA technology sales to Chinese telecommunications companies and chipmakers.

While much of Biden's China policy is still being formulated, including how to handle the tariffs on Chinese goods implemented under Trump, his administration has so far placed a stronger emphasis on democratic values and allegations of human rights abuses by China.

"China is firmly opposed to US interference in China's internal affairs", Yang Jiechi, the director of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office said at the summit with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Alaska.

China comes with a different agenda that has little overlap with Washington's, a sign of how far apart the two sides are and how hard it will be to fix the relationship. The U.S. side has explicitly rejected that, calling it a one-off session.

China has expressed its desire to put bilateral relations "back on the right track" after the four years under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump resulted in a bruising trade war and confrontation on various fronts including over its assertiveness in disputed waters and toward Taiwan, crackdown on Hong Kong and technology issues.

Wang criticized new US sanctions against Chinese officials for actions in Hong Kong, saying, "This is not supposed to be the way one should welcome his guests".

"We believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world", he said.

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