Blinken warns China of need to respect global order or face a ‘more violent world’ at first meeting #Breaking112
Blinken said the US intends to defend the “rules-based order” without which there would be a “much more violent world” and said that Chinese activities in places like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as its cyber attacks on the US and economic coercion of US allies, “threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability. That’s why they’re not merely internal matters, and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.”
“Our administration is committed to leading with diplomacy to advance the interests of the United States and to strengthen the rules-based international order,” Blinken said. “That system is not an abstraction. It helps countries resolve differences peacefully, coordinate multilateral efforts effectively and participate in global commerce with the assurance that everyone is following the same rules. The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winners take all. And that would be a far more violent and unstable world for all of us.”
Blinken, Sullivan, Chinese foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi convened in Anchorage for what US administration officials described as “a broader strategic conversation” about the United States’ wide range of concerns about Chinese behavior, as well as areas of potential mutual interest.
The lead-up to the meeting sent a clear message: the US will not shift from the increasingly tough position on Beijing taken by the Trump administration, but Biden’s team has said it plans to apply those tougher standards more effectively by working closely with allies — and they’ll seek to do it without the internal divisions that plagued the Trump administration or the former President’s name-calling, which many analysts say undermined US-China policy in the past.
“Sometimes you heard one thing in public but seemed to see something different — coming from elsewhere,” a senior administration official said of the Trump administration. “One of the things for us to also demonstrate here is a sense of coordination and sort of a unified approach, that it was not potentially the case in the last administration.”
The White House made clear that it was “important” that the meeting happen on US soil, and senior administration officials stressed that the presence of both Blinken and Sullivan demonstrate a strong united front.
“This is a very deliberate and visual demonstration of that from the get-go that we think is really important for helping to inform and shape how China seeks to engage with us,” one senior official told reporters this week, adding that “the games that China has played in the past to divide us or attempt to divide us are simply not going to work here.”
Russia and China set to meet next week
The meeting comes as Russia and China announced their own bilateral gathering next week, a diplomatic show of force that highlights their growing cooperation. Moscow announced Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would travel to South Korean to meet officials there as well.
US officials have portrayed the Alaska meeting as a forum for airing their concerns directly with Chinese officials, “to demonstrate to our counterparts that there is no difference between what we say in public and what we say in private,” as Blinken said this week.
“It’s just important to make sure we understand each other, and in particular that our Chinese counterparts understand the concerns that we have, understand why so many countries are increasingly worried about the actions that China is taking, again, whether it’s with regard to human rights at home or some of its aggressive actions in the region,” he said in an interview with TV Asahi Wednesday.
Those concerns range from China’s aggression in the South and East China Seas to its economic practices to its human rights abuses in Xinjiang, which the administration has said amounts to genocide.
Thursday’s meeting is not expected to result in “specific negotiated deliverables” nor will there be a joint statement, the senior official said.
“This really is a one-off meeting,” the official said. “This is not the resumption of a particular dialogue mechanism or the beginning of a dialogue process.”
Blinken said last week that any potential follow-on meetings “really have to be based on the proposition that we’re seeing tangible progress and tangible outcomes on the issues of concern to us with China.”
“Beijing has been talking about its desire to change the tone of the relationship,” a second senior administration official told reporters.
“And of course, we’re going to be looking at deeds not words on that front, and we’re of course coming to these discussions with a very clear eyed view about the (People’s Republic of China)’s pretty poor track record of keeping its promises,” the official said.
Blinken has called China “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century” and President Joe Biden has vowed to “out-compete” with the country, but the administration has also said that they will work with China where it is in US interest to do so, on issues such a climate change.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday it accepted the proposal for the talks as “a constructive gesture showing our sincerity towards resuming China-US dialogue and exchange and improving and developing China-US relations.”
However, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the US should not expect a change on the range of issues it considers to be internal matters.
“On issues that bear on China’s sovereignty, security and core interests, no one shall expect China to make any compromise or trade-offs,” he said. “China is determined and resolute in safeguarding its core interests.”