U.S., China clash at first major talks of Biden era

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on March 19, 2021 - Duration: 02:02s

U.S., China clash at first major talks of Biden era

The first high-level U.S.-China talks of the Biden administration got off to a fiery start on Thursday, with both sides leveling sharp rebukes of the others' policies.

Flora Bradley-Watson reports.

U.S., China clash at first major talks of Biden era

U.S. and Chinese officials had a testy exchange at the first high level meeting between the Biden administration and China.

Tensions are rising between the world's two superpowers, as both sides dig in on a litany of issues.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken opened the two-day meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, with a list of grievances: "We'll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, 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.

" After that - the gloves were firmly off.

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi fired back with a 15-minute speech in Chinese, lashing out about what he said was the United States' struggling democracy and poor treatment of minorities, including the, quote, 'slaughtering of African Americans'.

Usually opening statements last just a few minutes, but these went on for more than an hour in front of the world's media.

Yang said the U.S. was in no position to judge: "Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan are all inseparable pieces of Chinese territory.

We are firmly opposed to the U.S. interfering in China's internal affairs.

We express firm opposition to the U.S. actions of interfering in China's internal affairs, and we will make resolute responses to these." State councillor Wang Yi also chimed in: "Especially before you haven't even exchanged opinions with China, you have to just label China and coerce us.

Is that the right attitude?

Of course China will not accept it." Afterwards, both sides accused the other of violating protocols, with the Chinese diplomats saying the U.S. had been inhospitable.

China had been looking to reset relations with the U.S. after they hit rock bottom under the Trump administration.

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