Washington | The United States and China once again exposed their differences on Friday, as US President Joe Biden met his closest allies at a series of summits denounced by Beijing as “false multilateralism” that benefits “groups”.
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Nearly three months after their great offloading in Alaska, they have given, in front of the cameras of the whole world, the impression that an unbridgeable chasm separates the two rival powers, the leaders of American and Chinese diplomacy, Anthony Blinken and Yang Jiechi. Significantly tense telephone conversation.
The timing of this first exchange since the March meeting in Anchorage is not trivial: Anthony Blinken with Joe Biden in Europe for a G7 summit followed by NATO and EU leaders meetings.
The US president is trying to unite his Western allies in confronting Beijing on many issues, from trade to human rights to technology, in what he considers a strategic priority for his term: confronting democracies against “authoritarian regimes.” “.
A press release from his services said the US Secretary of State had once again listed Washington’s complaints.
He called on China for “cooperation” and “transparency” on the origin of COVID-19, stressing the “need” for further investigation by experts from the World Health Organization after criticism of the first mission.
Taiwan, Uyghurs and Hong Kong
Joe Biden gave US intelligence 90 days at the end of May to report on the subject, in order to determine between the animal origin thesis, which was recently relaunched, and an accidental leak in the Chinese laboratory in Wuhan.
Yang Jiechi, the top diplomat of the Chinese Communist Party, once again denounced the latest course as “ridiculous” and urged Americans not to “politicize” this sensitive issue, according to China’s CGTN TV.
Anthony Blinken also called on Beijing to “end its pressure campaign on Taiwan.”
There is also an immediate response from the Chinese official, who asked his counterpart to be careful when it comes to the island, which China still considers one of its provinces, but with the Biden administration he wants to enter into trade talks.
The Secretary of State added, by invoking the “concern” of the United States about the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” that, according to the US government, target Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. But also about “the deterioration of democratic standards in Hong Kong”.
“The United States should solve its gross violations of human rights and not use the so-called human rights issues as a pretext to arbitrarily interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” Yang Jiechi replied curtly.
Above all, he attacked the strategy of President Biden who, while praising America’s “return” to the multilateral arena after four years of disengagement under his predecessor Donald Trump, wants to form a united front of democracies against China.
The Chinese leader protested that “the only true multilateralism” is one that treats everyone equally and promotes mutually beneficial cooperation”. “It is not a false multilateralism based on the interests of cliques and the politics of blocs,” he was quoted as saying by China’s CCTV.
Like Donald Trump, Joe Biden wants to be tough with Beijing. But the Democrat promised to explore all diplomatic avenues for cooperating with the powerful adversary on matters in which the two countries shared interests.
Thus Anthony Blinken, according to the State Department, raised North Korea and “the need for the United States and the People’s Republic of China to work together towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, as well as Iran, Burma and the climate crisis.
Yang Jiechi also called for Sino-US relations to “remain subject to dialogue and cooperation.”