lørdag 20. mars 2021

Will a chilly meeting in Anchorage set the tone for US-China relations?

In a protracted, unplanned public spat in Anchorage late on Thursday, China and America’s top diplomats traded barbs for over an hour in front of astonished journalists. The openings to diplomatic summits are usually dull and carefully choreographed, a showcase for the world’s cameras before the doors close and the real talks begin.

So if the people now in charge of probably the world’s most consequential bilateral relationship were unable to keep tensions under wraps for just a few minutes of news bulletin footage, it suggests even more turbulent times lie ahead.

Speeches from both delegations were meant to last two minutes each, the US diplomats said afterwards. But once they had made brief remarks, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi took the floor for more than 16 minutes full of broadsides against a Washington he denounced as bullying, racist and hypocritical.