After the standoff with Putin and Russia on Wednesday, Biden is now bluntly exposing his irreconcilable disagreements with China.
After seeing its president say bluntly that Vladimir Putin was a killer on Wednesday, the United States was entitled to a second day of straightforward diplomacy.
The Biden administration and China have indeed spread this Thursday, March 18 in Alaska irreconcilable disagreements during the first face-to-face under the Democratic president , again staging a merciless confrontation between world powers.
“This is not how we welcome our guests”
“We will discuss our deep concerns about China’s actions in Xinjiang”, where Washington accuses Beijing of “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims, “of Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks against the United States and economic coercion against our allies ”, immediately stated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to his interlocutors.
“Each of these acts threatens the rules-based order that guarantees global stability,” he accused. “That’s why it’s not just about domestic issues.”
The Chinese response has been equally scathing. “China is strongly opposed to US interference in China’s internal affairs,” “and we will take firm action in response,” the top Communist Party of China official for diplomacy, Yang Jiechi, warned.
At his side, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi denounced the latest US sanctions, announced on the eve of this meeting against Beijing’s takeover of Hong Kong. “This is not how you welcome your guests,” he protested.
“Cold War Mindset”
The city of Anchorage with its polar temperatures, turned towards the Pacific, was chosen as a more neutral ground than Washington or Beijing for this seminar of three long sessions spread out until Friday morning.
But expectations were limited and the tone set by the opening speeches confirmed the depth of the rift between the two rival countries. Their last meeting dated back to June and had not dispelled the climate of a new Cold War that reigned at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. The new US President Joe Biden has taken over the firmness of his predecessor.
But the Biden team, which criticized the Trump administration for its isolation on the world stage and a diplomacy that is both vehement and muddled, claims to want to be more methodical to “cooperate” in the face of the common challenges of global warming and the pandemic. or nuclear non-proliferation. And above all to win the strategic competition with China, erected as “the greatest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century”.
The White House adviser for national security Jake Sullivan thus assured that the United States did not want a “conflict” with China but was “open to stiff competition”. Yang Jiechi called on him to “abandon the Cold War mentality”, also claiming to want “neither confrontation nor conflict”.
But visibly stung by the American accusations, he reproached the United States for a long time for wanting to “impose their own democracy on the rest of the world”.
“What I hear is very different from what you describe”, resumed Antony Blinken, leaving the protocol yet millimeter of the meeting to have the last word. “I hear deep satisfaction over the return of the United States to our allies and partners, but I also hear deep concerns about certain actions of your government.”
A senior American official in Anchorage, Alaska, where the meeting is being held, for his part accused the Chinese foreign ministers of having shown “demagoguery” and of having “favored theatrical staging over debates of background”.
For Bonnie Glaser, of the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, the two camps will now “seek possible common ground” and “see if they can manage, or even reduce, their differences”. Not more: “a reset of relations is not on the agenda”, she told AFP about a possible “reset” to get out of the most serious crisis between Communist China and the States -United since their mutual recognition in the 1970s.
The Biden administration says it relies in this competition on the alliances of the United States abandoned by Donald Trump. Purposely, the meeting of Anchorage comes after the return of a visit by Antony Blinken to Japan and South Korea, two key allies where he warned the Asian giant against any attempt at “coercion” and of “destabilization” of the region.