In their first face-to-face meeting under President Joe Biden’s administration, U.S. officials clashed with Chinese officials.
According to CNN, officials were set to meet again Friday, but Thursday, the U.S. said the Chinese group was “grandstanding” for domestic consumption in China and Chinese officials retorted back.
The two countries are at odds over several issues, including the coronavirus pandemic, trade and human rights in Tibet, Hong Kong and the western Xinjiang region in China.
The Associated Press reports that Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi that the U.S. is determined to stand firm against China’s authoritarian policies.
Referring to cyber-attacks on the U.S., Blinken said China is acting as a “threat.”
“Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability,” he said. “That’s why they’re not merely internal matters, and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.”
But Yang said the U.S. has its own problems at home that need to be resolved before attacking the Chinese government.
“We believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world,” he said. “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.”
“China will not accept unwarranted accusations from the U.S. side,” he said, adding that recent developments had plunged relations “into a period of unprecedented difficulty” that “has damaged the interests of our two peoples.”
Later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lilian said Chinese officials had to make a “solemn response” after the “groundless attacks” U.S. officials made on China in the first meeting.
“It was the U.S. side that ... provoked the dispute in the first place, so the two sides had a strong smell of gunpowder and drama from the beginning in the opening remarks. It was not the original intention of the Chinese side,” Zhao said.
The tense meeting comes just after Biden faces increasing tension between the U.S. and Russia.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, in an interview this week, Biden called Vladimir Putin a “killer.”
"I don't think there is any way to more aggressively and markedly differentiate himself from President Trump," said Yuval Weber, a global fellow with the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center.
"What Biden was able to do is to say to the US domestic audience as well as to Putin that there is a very different sheriff in town."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.