onsdag 24. mars 2021

US-China set to reset or on a downward spiral?

Yang Jiechi could be excused for being surprised. China’s senior diplomat, a former ambassador to the United States and fluent English speaker – he once translated for US President George HW Bush during a visit to China – had heard that President Joe Biden’s November election victory heralded a return to a more “normal” US foreign policy.

Yet last week’s meeting between Yang, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Anchorage, Alaska, looked anything but normal. Days before the meeting, the US State Department announced new sanctions on 24 Chinese officials for their role in eroding Hong Kong’s democracy. Then, when last weekend’s sit-down commenced, Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state known for professionalism and level-headedness, unloaded on his guests during two minutes of opening remarks.