China reiterates 'mutual respect' as foundation for Alaska talks
Senior Chinese diplomats reiterated mutual respect, sincerity and frankness in addressing relations with the U.S. as the two-day high-level strategic dialogue started in Anchorage, Alaska on Thursday.
China's stance, "opposition to interference in internal affairs," was also stressed by Chinese diplomats Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi during talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The sit-down marks the first face-to-face meeting between high-level officials of the two sides after the new U.S. administration took office. It also follows the first telephone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, after the American leader assumed office in January.
Unreasonable accusations from U.S. rejected
China firmly opposes the U.S. interference in China's internal affairs and will continue to respond firmly, said Yang Jiechi, referring to issues related with China's Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Meanwhile, the U.S. side should mind its own business as the human rights situation in the U.S. has many problems, he criticized.
He urged the U.S. to change its zero-sum mentality, abandon such wrong practices as "long-arm jurisdiction," and stop abusing the concept of national security to interfere with normal trade between the two countries.
"Let me be clear that in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength," Yang emphasized.
Wang Yi echoed that China will not accept unreasonable accusations from Washington, urging the U.S. side to completely abandon its tyrannical acts of the interference.
On the same day, the Chinese delegation also made a stern response to the U.S.'s "unreasonable accusations," saying that the U.S. side's opening speeches overran their scheduled time which was not in line with diplomatic protocol.
Commenting on the American officials' unwarranted accusations against China, Victor Gao, chair professor at Soochow University, said they had "probably miscalculated."
"They wanted to walk into the meeting with China from a position of so-called strength," Gao told CGTN, noting that Yang "categorically rejected" the accusations.
"There are a lot of issues to be ironed out between China and the United States," Gao added. "And I think the fact that they are talking with each other is a good sign."
Managing differences to promote cooperation
Meanwhile, the two Chinese diplomats highlighted the importance of properly managing differences between the two countries and promoting cooperation.
Both China and the U.S. are major countries and share many common interests in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, resuming work and production, and addressing climate change, Yang said, calling for joint efforts in strengthening communication with each other and avoiding confrontation.
China-U.S. relations have encountered unprecedented difficulties, which have damaged the interests of the two peoples, Wang said, adding that China is willing to work together with the U.S. to exchange views based on mutual respect, and to shoulder responsibilities.