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U.S., Chinese diplomats clash during first meeting under Biden

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The first U.S.-China meeting under the Biden administration got off to a tense start in Anchorage, Alaska on Thursday, with both sides exchanging a slew of insults and accusations.

A planned four-minute photo session for the officials to address reporters ended up lasting one hour and 15 minutes due to the exchange. Reporters were told not to leave as both sides wanted to add their rebuttals.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan led the U.S. delegation and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi and director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Yang Jiechi led the Chinese delegation.

In his opening remarks, Blinken said the U.S, would discuss its “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies.”

“Each of these actions 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,” Blinken said. “I said that the United States relationship with China will be competitive where it should be, collaborative where it can be, adversarial where it must be.”

Yang also slammed the U.S. for using its “military force and financial hegemony to carry out long-arm jurisdiction and suppress other countries,” according to an official translation reported by NBC.

“It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges and incite some countries to attack China,” Yang said.

A top Chinese official then criticized the U.S.’s weak democracy, citing police brutality and systemic racism that led to mass protests in the U.S. last summer.

Sullivan raised concerns regarding China’s treatment of Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

“We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition, and we will always stand up for our principles, for our people and for our friends,” said Sullivan, saying earlier that they will raise “frankly, directly and with clarity … the concerns on the minds of the American people” and shared by “our allies and partners in the broader international community.”

Yang said the U.S. must deal with the Chinese side in “the right way” and reiterated Beijing’s call for cooperation.

“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,” Yang said.

A senior U.S. official told reporters during a briefing Tuesday night that “it’s good that we’re opening up these channels of communication.”

“This is very much about sitting down, getting an understanding of each other, and then taking that back and taking stock,” a second official added.

The second round of discussions is set for Friday.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities

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On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.

“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.

“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.

Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

National Review reports:

The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.

While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.

National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.

Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.”  On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.

“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.

 

 

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