The first meeting between the US and China under Biden got off to a rocky start

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R) speaks together with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R) in front of Yang Jiechi (2nd L), director of the office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, and Wang Yi (L), China’s foreigner minister at the US-China talks opening session on March 18, 2021 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – The first high-level meeting of U.S. and Chinese officials under President Joe Biden began with an exchange of insults at a press event prior to the Thursday meeting.

A scheduled four-minute photo session for officers to target reporters lasted an hour and 15 minutes due to a frothy exchange, NBC said. Both the Chinese and US sides kept calling reporters back in the room for comments.

Expectations for the meeting in Alaska with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, Director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, were already low.

In his opening address, Blinken said the US would discuss its “deep concerns about China’s actions, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the US, economic coercion on our allies,” according to an NBC transcript. “Each of these actions threatens the rules-based order that sustains global stability.”

“Therefore, it is not just internal matters and we feel obliged to address these issues here today,” said Blinken. “I said that US relations with China will be competitive where they should be cooperative. The word can be controversial where it needs to be.”

Beijing views issues in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan as part of its internal affairs, and officials at the meeting reiterated that China is firmly against foreign interference.

Yang said the US side “carefully orchestrated” the dialogue, according to an official NBC translation.

“I think we have thought too well about the United States, we thought the US side was going to follow the necessary diplomatic protocols,” said Yang, adding, “the United States does not have the qualifications to say they are with China want to speak a position of strength. “

The two-day talks are due to be concluded on Friday.

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