The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials said the meeting gave Washington an opportunity to express its displeasure with many of the Chinese Communist Party‘s actions, such as curtailing Hong Kong‘s freedoms, expanding naval and military power in the South China Sea, putting economic pressure on U.S. allies, violating intellectual property rights and infringing on cybersecurity.
The United States also intends to test the views of Chinese officials on how the two countries can work together on issues such as climate change and global health.
But the Chinese Communist Party has proposed a different agenda that barely overlaps with Washington’s, going south. Citing sources familiar with the plan, the report said Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Working Committee of the CPC Central Committee, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi intend to urge Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to lift sanctions and restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese Communist Party entities and individuals.
Chinese officials also intend to propose re-establishing regular high-level meetings between the two sides, and scheduling an online summit between Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping and Biden on April 22, when a global conference on climate change is held on World Earth Day. But the White House would not comment on the prospects for such a meeting.
Among the measures China wants the U.S. to roll back are U.S. sales restrictions on Chinese companies such as huawei and SMIC, visa restrictions on Communist Party members, mainland Chinese students and state media reporters, and the closure of the Communist Party’s consulate in Houston.
If those restrictions are removed or eased, the Chinese side would consider lifting the so-called countermeasures it has previously offered, sources close to the matter said.
From the details of the meeting arrangements revealed in Blinken’s recent speech, it appears that the Chinese side had high expectations for the meeting and agreed to the U.S. terms to that end, writes RFE/RL. But the dialogue was not as simple as the Chinese Communist Party’s own official media said it was “in response to an appointment. Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi have traveled a long way to Alaska, the snowy land of the United States, and the U.S. side has told the world all its arrangements and intentions.
The U.S. side determined the location and order of talks, and the U.S. side emphasized the importance of the location and order of talks. When Beijing characterized the meeting as a “high-level strategic dialogue,” Blinken said it was not a “strategic dialogue” and that the U.S. wanted to use the opportunity to “express our concerns” about the challenges Beijing poses to U.S. and allied states on regional security, prosperity and values. The U.S. wanted to use the opportunity to “express our concerns” about the challenges Beijing poses to U.S. and allied states on regional security, prosperity and values.
According to the article, it is also clear that the U.S. side has no intention of conducting the series of follow-up exchanges that the Chinese side expects. For on March 10, Blinken said, “There is no intention at this stage to engage in a series of follow-up contacts. If there is, it has to be based on the condition that we see substantial progress and concrete results from China in addressing our concerns.”
The U.S. side kept talking until a few hours before the dialogue, still stressing that the topics of greatest concern to the U.S. side of this dialogue were concerns about Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the Taiwan Strait and economic coercion by the Chinese Communist Party against U.S. allies.
And according to AFP, no meal was prepared for the dialogue, something that has not been done in previous high-level meetings between the U.S. and China.
Most importantly, according to the AFP article, after the announcement of the dialogue, Biden first held a “quadrilateral summit” with the heads of Australia, Japan and India on March 12 to discuss Indo-Pacific security, targeting the Chinese Communist Party. After the Tokyo meeting, Blinken and Austin traveled to Seoul, South Korea, for a 2+2 meeting with the South Korean side. The importance of these “sequences” is believed to be to show Beijing that the U.S. has a strong alliance.
The article argues that this is indeed not the kind of dialogue that China was hoping for. Beijing will not be unaware of the difficulties of this dialogue, and it will have to make concessions if it wants to make a little progress in this meeting. Of course, they are following Xi Jinping’s will. But Yang Jiechi wonders if he remembers that disastrous meeting he had with Blinken’s predecessor, Pompeo, in Hawaii nine months ago?