Top officials from the United States and China sat down for their first face-to-face meeting since President Joe Biden took office, testing the two countries’ increasingly troubled relations. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Alaska Thursday, March 18, 2021 with China’s top two diplomats, State Councillor Wang Yi and Chinese Communist Party Foreign Affairs Chief, Yang Jiechi.
Representatives from the two countries had a highly unusual extended back-and-forth in front of the cameras after Blinken and Sullivan opened the meeting with Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi. Blinken pointed out “deep concerns” over China’s actions relating to “Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies”. Yang responded with a 15-minute speech in Chinese lashing out at what he called a struggling democracy in the U.S., poor treatment of minorities and foreign and trade policies.