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Disaster in Alaska | China Worker - Apr. 18, 2021 |

The first high-level meeting between Biden's team and their Chinese counterparts, in Anchorage on 18-19 March, began with an extraordinary slanging match. On the eve of the meeting, the US State Department sanctioned a further 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials in response to China's decision to impose a new political system on Hong Kong, giving Beijing full control. The US sanctions were largely symbolic, in line with previous sanctions by Trump's administration, but their timing raised the temperature for the Alaska meeting.

The Alaska meeting was "a disaster" according to economist Stephen Roach. "The situation is going from bad to worse and it doesn't have to do that," he lamented. This view was shared by Allison Sherlock of Eurasia Group, "Anyone who was hoping there would be a significant de-escalation - largely people in the business community - can see that's not going to be possible, at least in the near term."

The representatives of both governments used the meeting to grandstand to a wider audience. This was a historic but rather bizarre encounter with each side seeking to talk up their national strengths. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken lectured the Chinese not to "bet against America" and slammed China's actions as a "threat to global stability".

Yang Jiechi, the director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs and a member of China's ruling Politburo, launched a scathing attack of the US record on human rights, its "long arm jurisdiction and suppression", and declared that "China's development and strengthening is unstoppable".

Speaking for sixteen minutes without a pause for translation, clearly for the benefit of the Chinese media rather than his American hosts, Yang told the Americans not to talk down to China: "The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength." Within days this statement had gone viral on China's social media. Even tee shirts were selling printed with this slogan.

US-China Summit Alaska Yang Jiechi vs Antony Biden

U.S.-China Summit in Anchorage, Alaska | C-Span - 72 min. |

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Alaska with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 11th, 2022 at 09:26:27 PM EST
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