China to urge US to drop Trump-era sanctions in Alaska meet: Report

ANI
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Alaska [US], March 18 (ANI): China is going to try to persuade the United States to lift the restrictive measures introduced by the previous administration of President Donald Trump during the upcoming Beijing-Washington talks in Alaska amid worsening ties between the two countries, as per sources.

During the negotiations, the Chinese officials are going to propose the re-establishment of regular high-level contacts as well as to schedule an online summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, during the April conference on climate change, Sputnik quoting The Wall Street Journal reported on late Wednesday, citing its sources.

On Thursday, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi will hold a meeting in Alaska's Anchorage with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Sputnik further reported that the US agenda for the upcoming talks differs from the Chinese one: Washington wants to express its concern over the Chinese policy in Hong Kong, the boost of naval activities in the South China Sea, economic pressure on US allies, intellectual-property violations, and cyberattacks. At the same time, the United States hopes to discuss cooperation on global health and fighting climate change.

According to CNN, Beijing does not have "high expectations" for upcoming talks with the United States in Alaska, China's ambassador to the US told reporters Wednesday, in what will be the first meeting of senior officials from both countries since US President Joe Biden took office.

There is no public agenda for the event, but a spokesman for the US State Department said "a range of issues" would be discussed. "We will certainly not pull any punches in discussing our areas of disagreement," State Department spokesman Ned Price said on March 11.

Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the US, said the Chinese government didn't "expect to solve all problems in one dialogue", as quoted by CNN "We don't have high expectations or fantasy," said Cui. "I think both sides attach great importance to it. We have done a lot in preparation in the past few days."

Cui said in talks with the US representatives, China would not compromise on key issues related to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The prerequisite for dialogue and communication between any countries is that both sides should have the spirit of equality and mutual respect," he said. "I hope both parties will come with sincerity and leave with a better understanding of each other."

Ahead of Blinken's meeting with top Chinese diplomats in Alaska, Washington has imposed sanctions on 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing's ongoing crackdown on the city.

The sanctions were introduced under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (HKAA), which was passed by the US last year in response to the imposition of the repressive national security law in the city, reported CNN.

The Biden administration expects that the talks with the Chinese diplomats during the bilateral meeting which is scheduled to take place in Alaska would be "difficult", US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last week.

"We expect Beijing to demonstrate seriousness regarding its own off-stated desire to change the tone of our bilateral relationship. This will be a difficult conversation, will be frank in explaining how Beijing's actions and behavior challenge the security, the prosperity, the values of not only the United States but also our partners and allies," Price said during a press briefing.

Blinken said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday that he will raise concerns over the treatment of Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang province during a meeting with Chinese officials in Alaska.

"We will certainly be raising them again in Alaska," Blinken said on Wednesday when asked if he and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will raise the issue concerning Uyghurs during a meeting with Chinese counterparts on March 18.

Under the Trump administration, ties between the two countries had deteriorated over issues such as human rights violations in Xinjiang, encroachment on the special status of Hong Kong, accusations of unfair trade practices by Beijing, lack of transparency concerning the pandemic and China's military aggression in various parts of the world. (ANI)