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China Stays Positive on Anchorage Summit

March 20 , 2021 (EIRNS)—What the discussions will be as Politburo member and senior diplomat Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi return to Beijing is difficult to assess. But the behavior of the U.S. delegation in effectively “ambushing” the Chinese delegates in their opening remarks, as Minister Wang himself indicated, will no doubt have a lasting impact on the Chinese view of the Biden administration. Nonetheless, in the very short press statement given by the two Chinese diplomats after the closed meetings, the mood was rather positive. Yang said that the meeting had been “candid, constructive, and beneficial,” although there were “many differences,” while again stating that success in moving the relationship forward depended on treating China with the respect and dignity that it deserved. Several media quoted Chinese academics expressing their pride that Yang and Wang stood up to the U.S. effort at intimidation.

CCTV reported the following: “The two sides agreed to maintain dialogue and contacts, advance bilateral cooperation, avoid conflicts and confrontation, and promote healthy and stable development of relations between China and the United States.”

On climate change, the Chinese delegation issued a statement: “The two parties are fully committed to boosting the dialogue and cooperation in the fight against climate change, the parties will create a joint U.S.-Chinese working group on climate change.”

“The two parties have agreed to maintain dialogue and contacts, develop the mutually beneficial cooperation, prevent misunderstanding and mistaken statements, avoid conflicts and confrontation, as well as promote the healthy and stable development of the Chinese-U.S. relations,” the statement stressed, adding that the countries expressed hope to continue the high-level strategic dialogue.

The Chinese delegation also called on the United States to respect international law and norms of international relations by refraining from interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, and to lift the sanctions linked to Hong Kong, which are illegal from the Chinese point of view. “If the United States continues its policy, China will make a decisive response,” the document reads.

According to the Chinese delegation, the previous U.S. administration led by President Donald Trump carried out a mistaken anti-Chinese policy that had a negative impact on bilateral relations. “China was forced to take relevant and necessary measures to protect its sovereignty, security, and development interests,” the delegation said. Beijing expressed readiness to boost the bilateral contacts and further develop bilateral cooperation.

A number of things, however, have been settled in the meeting. In addition to setting up a Sino-U.S. joint working group on climate change, the two sides discussed reciprocal arrangements for vaccination against COVID, and they will discuss issues related to facilitating the activities of each other’s diplomatic and consular institutions and personnel as well as media and reporters “in the spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit.” Although there were no decisions announced, this refers to the reciprocal restraints imposed on diplomats and reporters, as well as the outrageous closing of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. They also discussed adjusting relevant travel and visa policies according to the epidemic situation and improving the normalization of personnel exchanges between China and the United States.

Other issues dealt with included economy and trade, the relations between the two militaries, law enforcement, the humanities, health, cyber security, Iranian nuclear, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar. It is also reported that Yang Jiechi brought up the possibility of cooperation in space research.

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