US confronts China on concerning actions, cyber attacks, coercion

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken have raised China’s concerning behaviors during the high-level face-to-face meeting with Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is also present during the meeting.

“Our administration is committed to leading with diplomacy to advance the interests of the United States and to strengthen the rules-based international order,” Blinken said at the start of the talks. “We’ll have an opportunity to discuss key priorities, both domestic and global, so that China can better understand our administration’s intentions and approach.”

“We’ll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies.  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,” Blinken said.

“I said that the United States relationship with China will be competitive where it should be, collaborative where it can be, adversarial where it must be,” he added.

In his opening remarks, Chinese State Councilor Wang noted that the United States passed new sanctions prior to the meeting. ” This is not supposed to be the way one should welcome his guests, and we wonder if this is a decision made by the United States to try to gain some advantage in dealing with China, but certainly this is miscalculated and only reflects the vulnerability and weakness inside the United States.  And this will not shake China’s position or resolve on those issues,” Wang said.

“China urges the U.S. side to fully abandon the hegemonic practice of willfully interfering in China’s internal affairs.  This has been a longstanding issue and it should be changed.  It is time for it to change.  And in particular, on the 17th of March, the United States escalated its so-called sanctions on China regarding Hong Kong, and the Chinese people are outraged by this gross interference in China’s internal affairs and the Chinese side is firmly opposed to it,” he added.

In response, Blinken said “I have spoken to I think nearly a hundred counterparts from around the world, and I just made my first trip, as I noted, to Japan and South Korea.  I have to tell you, what I’m hearing is very different from what you described.  I’m hearing deep satisfaction that the United States is back, that we’re re-engaged with our allies and partners.  I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government has taken, and we’ll have an opportunity to discuss those when we get down to work.”

Wang also said that “the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.  The U.S. side was not even qualified to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people.  If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let’s follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way.”