Yang Jiechi stays at US hotel chain, Cui Tiankai says no illusions about talks

A Communist Party delegation arrives in Anchorage, Alaska, in the early morning hours of March 18, 2021, local Time. (Video screenshot)

Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats meet in Alaska, far from the U.S. mainland, on Thursday (March 18), local time. According to U.S. media reports, Yang Jiechi, director of the Chinese Communist Party‘s Foreign Affairs Office, checked into a local Hilton hotel early Thursday morning. A day earlier, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai stated that China had “no illusions” about the meeting.

According to the party media China Global Television Network (CGTN), a Chinese delegation led by Yang Jiechi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the first to arrive in Anchorage, Alaska, in the early morning of the 18th.

According to a video released by CGTN, there was still snow on the road in Anchorage, and the Chinese delegation was staying at a local branch of the Hilton hotel chain. The online booking page shows that the hotel room costs about $170 per night.

According to U.S. media reports, Secretary of State Blinken and White House national security adviser Sullivan will hold three meetings with Chinese representatives here, but only on official business and without a meal.

Prior to the meetings, the Chinese Communist Party spun them as “ice-breaking” talks with the Biden administration and said they would open a “strategic dialogue” between the U.S. and China. However, the U.S. side immediately denied the “strategic dialogue” claim and repeatedly took a strong stance, reiterating sanctions against 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

On the eve of the meeting, the Chinese side also began to shout forcefully. Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai told the party media on the 17th that China does not expect one dialogue to solve all the problems and has “no excessive expectations or illusions” about the talks, and that China will not make a special trip to Alaska to “make compromises and concessions”. China also hopes that the U.S. side will “lose its illusions.

The U.S. and China currently have a series of fundamental differences on issues such as trade, intellectual property, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and human rights, and the U.S. government has said that it “will not make concessions.