US expects talks with Chinese diplomats in Alaska next week to be 'difficult'

ANI
·3-min read
US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price
US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price

Washington [US], March 12 (ANI): The Biden administration expects that the talks with the Chinese diplomats during the bilateral meeting which is scheduled to take place in Alaska next week would be "difficult," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.

"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.

"On the flip side of that coin, we also will explore avenues for cooperation that are in our interest," he added.

Price said he expects US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to raise issues concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan, the South China Sea, trade and the origins of the novel coronavirus.

Price explained the Biden administration expects China to demonstrate seriousness to change the tone in the bilateral relationship. "The US-China relationship is multifaceted and predicated on competition", he added.

In light of the worsening ties between China and the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will be meeting with counterparts Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi in Alaska Anchorage, Alaska next week.

The meeting comes amid a deep strain in relations between the world's two largest economies.

CNN reported that Biden has prioritized economic and military issues, and mentioned potential areas of cooperation, including climate change and nuclear proliferation while calling China out on a range of issues related to its nefarious use of technology, trade practices and human rights abuses.

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 next week.

"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.

On Tuesday, The White House confirmed that Chinese and US diplomats are "directly engaged" in talks, in response to questions over an exclusive report in the South China Morning Post that plans are afoot for a senior-level meeting in Alaska.

"Of course there'll be a range of engagements that the president and his national security team will have with China and other countries in the region in the months and years ahead," press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday when asked to confirm the meeting would take place.

"We are directly engaged. There are a range of issues we of course have talked with the Chinese about through those engagements. We don't hold back about our concerns, but we also look for opportunities to work together," she said.

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)