U.S.-China Talks in Alaska Descend Into Bickering Over Human Rights, Trade

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “U.S.-China Talks in Alaska Descend Into Bickering Over Human Rights, Trade” – below is their description.

    The first high-level talks between the U.S. and China since President Joe Biden took office descended immediately into bickering and recriminations, with each side sharply criticizing the other over human rights, trade and international alliances.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his remarks at the meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, by vowing to raise concerns about recent cyber attacks, the treatment of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and Beijing’s increasing control over Hong Kong. He said China’s actions threatened the international order and human rights.

    “The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world,” Blinken said.

    The Chinese fired back. Yang Jiechi, a member of the Politburo, offered a lengthy monologue in which he said Western nations don’t represent global public opinion and called the U.S. the “champion” of cyber-attacks.

    “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States,” he said, citing the killing of Black Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement. Near the end of his opening remarks, he said Blinken’s comments weren’t “normal” and added that in response “mine aren’t either.”

    Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan responded, with Sullivan saying “a confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve, and that is the secret sauce of America.”

    Things only got worse from there. Cameras were ushered from the room, only to be called back in. Yang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi took the opportunity to follow up with even more criticism.

    “Is that the way you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?” Yang asked, according to his delegation’s translator. “I think we thought too well of the United States. The United States isn’t qualified to speak to China from a position of strength.”

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    In This Story: Hong Kong

    Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

    Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

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