First US-China Meeting Under Biden Becomes Confrontational
On Thursday, top US and Chinese officials met in their first face-to-face talks since President Biden took office. The meeting became contentious with officials from each country taking aim at the other country's policies.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear that the Biden administration is united with allies in protecting the South China Sea from Chinese authoritarianism. Several other topics were also discussed including trade and economic coercion, as well as human rights issues in Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Said Blinken, "Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability...That’s why they’re not merely internal matters, and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today."
Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi fired back accusing the US of hypocrisy for criticizing China on these issues. Yang said that the US must stop pushing its own version of democracy, especially considering the current state of division in the United States.
Said Yang, "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. Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States." He also accused the US representatives of "condescension."
The representatives from both countries will meet again Friday to continue the discussions.
Photo Source: US Embassy Nigeria