The meeting in Alaska between top American and Chinese officials is a “good start,” but Beijing does not “count on one dialogue to solve all problems,” a top Chinese diplomat said on Thursday.
Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the US, said Beijing is under “no illusions” and hopes that the “two sides meet with sincerity and leave with mutual understanding,” according to state-run daily Global Times.
His comments came as a Chinese delegation that includes Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in the US state of Alaska for the first high-level talks between the two rivals under President Joe Biden’s administration.
The US delegation will be led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
“China will firmly defend its core national interests no matter what others may say or do. Unilateral pressure and sanctions only lead to a dead end. Beware of the risk that ‘position of strength’ may turn out to be power politics,” said Ambassador Cui.
“China won’t make any compromise in order to create any so-called ‘atmosphere’ for the meeting, and there’s no room for concession on matters concerning its core interests -- Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan,” he asserted.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Washington’s efforts to pressure Beijing were “useless.”
“US’ microphone diplomacy and forming of cliques to pressure China ahead of the Alaska meeting are useless,” he was quoted as saying by Global Times.
“All topics to be discussed with the US in Anchorage are on the table; whether China and US could achieve positive results depends on efforts from both sides.”
The heightened animosity between the two global powers over recent years has increased the significance of the fresh dialogue.
Relations between the rivals deteriorated during former President Donald Trump’s tenure, triggering a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Washington has taken multiple steps that aggravated the crisis, including imposing restrictions and sanctions on Chinese businesses, officials, and media groups, with Beijing reciprocating in kind.