FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON – The first US-China summit started very badly, with a bitter confrontation, almost a verbal brawl, in front of the cameras. It ended with “some convergences on” climate change “, Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan”, as reported by the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. From Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency claims that the talks in Anchorage, Alaska, were “frank, useful and constructive”. The delegations of the two super powers met on Thursday evening and they discussed, “for several hours and very frankly on a comprehensive agenda,” added US Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. It will soon be understood whether a dialogue has opened in Anchorage that could lead to the summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, next April 22 on the sidelines of the climate conference.
The impact, Thursday evening, had been high-tension. With a very hard exchange between Blinken and the plenipotentiary for foreign policy of the Chinese Communist Party, Yang Jeichi. On the eve of the hosts had made it known that there would be no final statement: a way to avoid spending the night arguing over a few lines. But the Americans didn’t even want to dine with the guests, as is usually the case on these occasions. A surprising tear, experienced by the Chinese delegation as a political insult. Blinken opened the session without filters: “We want to discuss our deep concerns about China’s actions, including those in Xinjang (the repression of the Muslim Uighur minority ed) in Hong Kong, Taiwan; not to mention the cyber attacks on the United States …. Each of these acts threatens the law-based order that guarantees global stability ».
Brief reply from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: «China urges the United States not to interfere in internal affairs. It is not a new attitude: it is time to change it ». Then Yang Jiechi took the floor and held it for 15 minutes, instead of the two agreed at the beginning: “The United States uses its military strength and financial hegemony to crush other countries; they abuse the so-called notion of national security to hinder trade and incite some states to attack China ”. And again, a sentence halfway between the warning and a possible opening: «You must abandon this Cold War mentality .. The US has no title to claim that it can deal with China from a position of strength. This is not the way to approach our country … Cooperation can benefit both parties, but diplomatic protocol must be followed ».
At that point Sullivan entered: “We don’t want conflicts with you, but we are not afraid of rough competition.” All in front of the cameras and reporters called back to the room by Blinken. Interestingly, the two sides challenged and even insulted each other on political principles. Blinken and Sullivan presented themselves as spokespersons for a large number of nations in alarm over Chinese expansionism. With the endorsement of Joe Biden, of course, who yesterday said he was “proud of the Secretary of State.” Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi tried to dismantle what they consider an illegitimate moral pulpit, noting how full rights are denied to African Americans in the US: just look at the protests of “Black Lives Matter”. A recurring topic in Chinese social propaganda, Twitter in particular. Now we start again from “some convergence” gained in the confidential meetings, which in the end lasted longer than expected.
March 19, 2021 (change March 20, 2021 | 00:27)