Opening of U.S.-China Talks in Alaska
March 19 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The U.S.-China discussions in Anchorage, Alaska opened on March 18 with two rounds of remarks from both sides in front of the press. The opening remarks from the U.S., by Secretary of State Atony Blinken and National Security Advisor Sullivan lasted 12 minutes (including translation). Blinken extolled the importance of the “rules-based international order,” and how China’s misdeeds vis-à-vis Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc., could not be considered “internal” insofar as they violate the “rules.” Sullivan remarked on how useful the “Quad” is and how important it is for the whole world to ensure that the “Indo-Pacific” is “free and open.” The world is concerned about China’s aspirations, said the Americans.
In a lengthy response (42 minutes including translation), Politburo Member Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi spoke of the profound success of China in eliminating poverty and moving towards full modernization by the year 2050. Yang contrasted international law, which is common to all nations, with the “rules-based international order,” the domain of only a subset of nations: “China follows UN rules and system, not rules of a few countries which advocate that’s the rules-based world and international order. China has its form of democracy and the U.S. has its own form.”
Yang powerfully contrasted the democratic success of China with the poor confidence many Americans feel in their own democracy, raising the issue of BLM. The CPC has broad popular support, and any attempt to draw a division between the Chinese people and the ruling party would be doomed to failure, he warned. Regime change is not democracy. Starting wars is not democracy. The U.S. should not mistake its own views, or those of Western nations, with global public opinion. The views of the U.S. do not constitute international public opinion. Wang Yi added that imposing sanctions the day before the meeting was inhospitable, and that absolutely no interference in China’s internal affairs would be tolerated.
The U.S. side then added another 10 minutes about how happy the world is that the U.S. “is back” and how other leaders he has met with (in Japan and Korea) are concerned about Chinese coercion. As an example of the U.S.’s strength in building alliances, Sullivan pointed to the Perseverance rover, which was an international effort.
Yang Jiechi fired back that the United States had no business speaking about approaching diplomatic discussion “from a position of strength.” China’s growth and legitimate aspirations cannot be suppressed. Wang challenged the notion that China’s neighbors Korea and Japan are feeling “coerced” by China, and urged the U.S. to look to its own “coercive” practices.