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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

U.S., China conclude 'tough' talks in Alaska

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U.S., China conclude 'tough' talks in Alaska
U.S., China conclude 'tough' talks in Alaska

U.S. and Chinese officials concluded on Friday what Washington called "tough and direct" talks in Alaska, which laid bare the depth of tensions between the world's two largest economies at the outset of the Biden administration.

Gloria Tso reports.

Top U.S. and Chinese officials concluded two days of what Washington called "tough and direct" talks on Friday in Alaska.

It was the first high-level in-person meeting between the two sides under the new Biden administration, and put heightened tensions between the world's two largest economies on full display.

But the talks appeared to yield no diplomatic breakthrough, and the two have yet to reset relations that have slumped to the lowest level in decades.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday it was clear the two countries remained "fundamentally at odds" on several issues, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan.

"And it's no surprise that when we raised those issues clearly and directly, we got a defensive response.

But we were also able to have a very candid conversation... on Iran, on North Korea, on Afghanistan, on climate our interests intersect." The run-up to the talks in Anchorage followed high-profile visits by U.S. officials to allies Japan and South Korea, in Washington's attempt to show off a firm stance against China.

Following fiery opening remarks in which Chinese officials lashed out against U.S. democracy and treatment of minorities, the United States accused China of quote "grandstanding" for its domestic audience, and both sides suggested the other had broken diplomatic protocol.

Speaking to reporters Friday, China's State Councilor Wang Yi reiterated the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity for the Chinese side, but said that the talks were quote "candid, constructive, and beneficial." U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday morning that he was quote "very proud" of the secretary of state when asked about the talks.

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