The United States and China will hold a high-level meeting on March in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18. This is the first high level in-person meeting between the two countries under Biden administration.
“China, invited by the United States, will have a high-level strategic dialogue with the US side in the coming days,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on March 11.
“We ask the United States to view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational manner, reject the Cold-War and zero-sum game mentality, respect China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” the Chinese spokesperson added.
“It should follow the spirit of the phone call between the Chinese and US presidents, focus on cooperation, manage differences, and bring the China-US relationship back to the right track of sound and steady development,” Zhao said.
Also in a press briefing, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said the US plans “to engage Beijing from a position of strength.”
“Across every one of our sources of strength – and we’ve talked about these in recent days – you’ve seen us take concrete steps to revitalize them, in many ways to build them back better, to coin a phrase. And it’s no accident that we’ve taken these steps before we engage Beijing at a more senior level, as will happen in the coming days,” Price said.
“Calls to our treaty allies in the Indo-Pacific were some of the first that the Secretary made upon his confirmation,” he said. “And, of course, as I mentioned just a moment ago, we’ll be traveling to the region as our first physical trip next week when we visit Japan and South Korea, our two treaty allies.”
“In the same breath, I would mention our re-engagement in multilateral institutions: the WHO – we have re-engaged with the WHO in a constructive and we think productive fashion; we have re-engaged the Paris climate agreement and other institutions,” Price added.
“Third, our values, which we also consider a key source of strength. We have consistently and oftentimes in harmony with our allies and partners spoken up in defense of our allies and to condemn the PRC’s affronts to many of these shared and even universal values, whether that’s in Xinjiang, whether that’s in Hong Kong – as a moment ago – whether that’s in Taiwan. Anywhere around the world, we have spoken up, and we have taken in many cases concrete action,” he said.
“And fourth, our domestic strength. The administration has taken steps to strengthen our own house, recognizing that our strength on the world stage is directly tied to our strength at home, our supply chains. The White House, of course, on February 24th rolled out an executive order to create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical and essential goods. And of course, we now have the American Rescue Act, which will be a key driver of American strength and vitality going forward,” Price added.
“So with all that said, we will engage – as we announced yesterday; Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan – their Chinese counterparts, doing that from this position of strength that the predicate to all of this has allowed us to amass. It will be a – there will be some difficult conversations, I would expect. We will certainly not pull any punches in discussing our areas of disagreement,” he said.