tirsdag 23. mars 2021

How China drew a red line in Anchorage

The verbal salvos between top American diplomats and their Chinese counterparts seemed more like testosterone-driven exchanges between professional wrestlers at the opening session of the US-China high-level meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, held last Thursday and Friday. It was the first face-to-face meeting between top American and Chinese diplomats since President Joe Biden took office on January 20.

The Chinese side was led by its top diplomat Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Communist Party of China, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and the US delegation was led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.

Chinese state media outlets have called the meeting a historic event, and of course, it was a significant event setting the stage for geopolitics and international affairs in the future. It was perhaps the first time US diplomats had had to face such fire and fury from their counterparts publicly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was also probably the first time China had challenged American supremacy publicly.