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Initial Readout of U.S.-China Talks

March 19 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Blinken gave short remarks to the press on Friday, March 19. “We certainly know and knew going in that there are a number of areas where we are fundamentally at odds, including China’s actions in Xinjiang, with regard to Hong Kong, Tibet, increasingly Taiwan, as well as actions that it’s taken in cyberspace.

“And it’s no surprise that when we raised those issues clearly and directly, we got a pensive response. But we were also able to have a very candid conversation over these many hours on an expansive agenda. On Iran, on North Korea, on Afghanistan, on climate, our interests intersect. On economics, on trade, on technology, we told our counterparts that we are reviewing these issues with close consultation with Congress, with our allies and partners. And we will move forward on—in a way that fully protects and advances the interests of workers and our businesses.

“But just to take a step back for a moment, the two things that we wanted to do in coming here and meeting with our Chinese counterparts: first, we wanted to share with them the significant concerns that we have about a number of the actions that China’s taken and the behavior it’s exhibiting—concerns shared by our allies and partners. And we did that. We also wanted to lay out very clearly our own policies, priorities, and worldview, and we did that too.”

As if on cue, the State Department announced on March 19 that Blinken planned to visit Brussels next week for a meeting of the 29 foreign ministers of NATO with “concerns over China and Russia” among the main topics.

According to Xinhua, Yang Jiechi considered the discussion candid, constructive and helpful, although “there are still differences between the two sides.”

CGTN adds that he also said, “We came to the meeting with the hope the two sides could enhance communication and dialogue on different fronts. The two sides should follow the policy of ‘no conflict’ to guide our path towards a healthy and stable trajectory moving forward.”

As the U.S. delegation exited the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken told reporters that the U.S. delegation knew there are a number of areas where China and the U.S. would be at odds, but the two parties were also able to have a very candid discussion on areas where their interests meet.

Blinken said the two worked on an expansive agenda on Iran, Afghanistan, D.P.R.K., and climate change. “We wanted to lay out our policies, priorities, and world view and we did that,” Blinken said.

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