Chinese envoys lambaste Biden’s delegation in Alaska talks, accuse U.S. of provoking conflict, violating human rights, meddling with China’s ‘internal affairs’
UPDATED 1:40 PM PT – Friday, March 19, 2021
Chinese diplomats had sharp words for Biden administration officials when they gathered in Alaska for their first official meeting. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and their Chinese counterparts opened the two day summit in Anchorage, Alaska with unusually blunt remarks about cyber security, heated debates over human rights and mutual accusations of meddling in internal affairs.
“Today, we’ll have an opportunity to discuss key priorities, both domestic and global, so that China can better understand our administration’s intentions and approach,” Blinken said. “We’ll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion toward our allies.”
U.S. and Chinese diplomats clashed throughout the meeting.
“On cyber attacks, let me say that whether it’s the ability to launch cyber attacks or the technologies that could be deployed,” Mainland China Foreign Affairs Director Yang Jiechi noted. “The United States is the champion in this regard.”
Blinken also cited his recent trip to Japan and South Korea. He said China’s behavior has threatened the rules-based order that maintains global stability.
“These are the concerns that are on the minds of the American people,” the U.S. National Security Advisor stated. “But it goes beyond that. We’ve heard each of these concerns from around the world, from our allies and partners, and the broader international community during the intensive consultations we’ve undertaken these last two months.”
In response, Jiechi said the United States “itself does not represent international public opinion.”
In a 15-minute speech translated line-by-line, Senior Chinese Diplomat Yang Jiechi defied Blinken’s calls for talks and accused the U.S. of blatantly violating what he called “legitimate Chinese interests.” The Chinese delegation also accused the U.S. of provoking confrontation with China for “no reason,” despite proven instances of malign activities by Beijing.
“Between our two countries we have had confrontation in the past and the result did not serve the United States well,” Jiechi claimed. “What did the United States gain from that confrontation? I didn’t see any [gain] and the only result was damages done to the United States, while China will pull through and has pulled through such confrontation.”
“A confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings,” Sullivan noted. “And constantly seek to improve.”
Sullivan added, the U.S. does not seek conflict, but it does welcome stiff competition
and it will always stand up for its principles and its people. In the meantime, Chinese envoys said they will present a list of demands for Joe Biden if they are to resume “any meaningful talks going forward.”