Biden’s Secretary of State, National Security Adviser to Meet Chinese Counterparts for First Time
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will meet their Chinese counterparts in Alaska next week for talks on a range of issues; it will mark the first high-level in-person meeting between the two countries under the Biden administration.
“Blinken and … Sullivan will meet on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska with People’s Republic of China Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councillor Wang Yi,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.
The meeting will take place after Blinken’s visit to Japan and South Korea earlier in the week, Price said.
The officials will discuss a range of issues, he added, without, however, providing additional details.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that it was important to Washington that the meeting occurs “after we have met and consulted closely with partners and allies in both Asia and Europe”, stressing the administration would approach its relations with China “in lockstep” with its partners.
The spokeswoman added that the meeting is “an opportunity to address a wide range of issues, including ones where we have deep disagreements”.
She did not provide any details, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his testimony before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday said that there’s “no intent at this point for a series of follow-on engagements”.
“Those engagements, if they are to follow, really have to be based on the proposition that we’re seeing tangible progress and tangible outcomes on the issues of concern to us with China,” the Secretary of State said.
Blinken also said that he will raise concerns over the treatment of Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang province at the meeting.
“We will certainly be raising them again in Alaska,” he said when asked if he and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan would raise the issue.
Meanwhile, in his comments on the future talks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China and the United States can move relations back onto a “healthy and stable” track, forsake the Cold War mentality, and respect China’s sovereignty, security, and interests.