U.S.-China meeting to talk about what Sullivan: will touch on Hong Kong without mentioning tariffs

Sullivan will join Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a high-level meeting with the Chinese side in Alaska on the 18th and 19th of this month, with Chinese officials Yang Jiechi, head of the Chinese Communist Party‘s Foreign Affairs Committee, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Sullivan said the U.S. officials will talk about the Chinese Communist Party’s practices in Hong Kong and will also address questions raised by Asian allies at the four-nation summit about China’s “coercion of Australia” and its “aggression on India’s borders. Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan, Australia and India held a video summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, during which the leaders criticized the Chinese Communist threat.

He said trade will not be a major part of the talks, but Washington will signal that the U.S. plans to take steps to ensure its technology is not used in ways that are detrimental to U.S. Security or values.

“This is a Time for us to clearly communicate to the Chinese government how the United States intends to move forward at the strategic level, and we will demonstrate what our fundamental interests and values are and what our efforts are with respect to their activities,” Sullivan said at the White House briefing.

White House spokesman Leonardo Psaki announced on Friday that the administration is prepared to raise concerns during the dialogue about the Communist Party’s anti-democratic behavior in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the genocide of the Uighur people in Xinjiang. Sullivan said the dialogue process needs to be more mature before the U.S. confronts the Chinese more directly.

“We have more work to do with our allies and partners before we can sit down point by point with the Chinese government on these issues, and we will take a joint approach,” he added, adding, “We will also hope that the Biden Administration will send other key representatives in due course, senior economic representatives for dialogue.”

The former Trump administration spent nearly two years signing the first phase of a trade agreement with the Chinese Communist government that required Beijing to increase its purchases of U.S. agricultural products over two years, and data show that the Chinese government did not meet all of its first-year trade commitments.

Trump has also imposed export controls that prohibit U.S. companies from selling certain cutting-edge technologies to Chinese companies with ties to the Communist government or military.

The Biden administration has said it will review these policies of the Trump Administration as it consolidates its strategic approach to China.