So much for “America is back.”
It has not been a stellar week for Team Biden. After the Russians and the North Koreans showed they neither fear nor respect the Biden Administration, a U.S. delegation, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Alaska for a two-day meeting with their Chinese counterparts.
Team Biden: 0
North Korea: 1
(Source for opening remarks: Nikkei Asia)
Diplomacy went out the window at the first meeting between Biden officials and CCP leaders on Thursday night and did not return. The hostility coming from the Chinese was impossible to miss.
Here are a few of the headlines on reports from major media outlets: “US, China spar in first face-to-face meeting under Biden,” “US and China trade angry words at high-level Alaska talks, “and US and China publicly rebuke each other in first major talks of Biden era.” They used words like “heated” and “decidedly undiplomatic” to describe the progress of the talks.
Blinken was tougher than I would have expected on the Chinese. In addition to advancing the interests of the United States, Blinken stressed that he wished to “strengthen the rules-based international order which helps countries to resolve issues peacefully. The alternative would be a far more violent and unstable world.”
Basically, he said that China’s actions threaten the rules-based order. He voiced his “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability.”
Then it was time for the Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi to speak. Here are some of the highlights from his opening remarks.
Yang accused the U.S. of “persuading some countries to launch attacks on China.”
As for “Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan, they are an inalienable part of China’s territory. China is firmly opposed to U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs. We have expressed our staunch opposition to such interference, and we will take firm actions in response.”
“On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights.” Yes, he really said that.
“China has made steady progress in human rights, and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well. The United States has also said that countries can’t rely on force in today’s world to resolve the challenges we face. And it is a failure to use various means to topple the so-called authoritarian states. And the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently. So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this world.”
But between our two countries we’ve had confrontation in the past, and the result did not serve the United States well.
On cyberattacks, let me say that whether it’s the ability to launch cyberattacks or the technologies that could be deployed, the United States is the champion in this regard. You can’t blame this problem on somebody else.
Yang said, “The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.” Yang is not wrong. We do need to get our house in order. The rest of the world watches the U.S. The left has spent the last four years shouting racism, so naturally our enemies say we have deep-seated racial problems. Our country hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War and our national debt is now approaching $29 trillion. The Democrats’ agenda will only intensify these issues.
The Chinese didn’t like former President Trump, but they feared him because he held them accountable for their actions. So far, Biden has left the Trump sanctions and tariffs on China in place and I hope that continues. But I can easily see Biden caving in return for empty promises from the CCP.
According to Town Hall, the course of this meeting will determine if and/or when President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That may not be happening for a while. And given his state, I think it’s a good idea to keep Biden away from all world leaders.