Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Wednesday that U.S. and Chinese officials would be unlikely to reach a breakthrough in their meeting.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held a meeting in Alaska with high level Chinese officials. The meeting was the Biden administration’s first meeting with high level Chinese officials. Before the meeting took place, Rudd stated, “It’s more likely to be a dialogue about dialogue rather than substantive problem-solving.” According to Rudd, the US and China are looking for a strategic way to govern their bilateral relationship, which has structurally become “more problematic” due to the shifting balance of powers between DC and Beijing.
Rudd explained that China’s increasing influence has made the two countries rivals in areas of trade, investment, technology, capital markets, and even ideology. “It’s competitive whether we like it or not,” Rudd said. “However, at the same time, there are domains in each country which warrant cooperation, like climate change, like pandemics and like, frankly, global debt management.” The meeting between the US and China got very heated. China accused the US of instigating other countries to “attack China,” while the US said China had “arrived intent on grandstanding.” The Chinese officials at the meeting were China’s foreign policy official Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Just before the meeting Blinken stated that the US would “discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber-attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies. Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability.” In response, Yang accused Washington of using its military might and financial supremacy to suppress other countries. Yang also stated that US human rights were at a low point with black Americans being “slaughtered.” Although the tensions of the meeting were high, Mr. Yang stated that the difficulties with the US and China should not continue.
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