US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had a tough time during a meeting with Chinese diplomats Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Anchorage, Alaska where US officials received an astonishing dressing down from their Chinese counterparts.
Wang also told the US delegation that they are not in a position to speak to China from a position of strength. Blinken said during his remarks, laying emphasis on the “rules based international order” that the two countries will discuss the USA’s “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies.”
“Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability. That’s why they’re not merely internal matters and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today,” he added.
Yang, on his part, mocked the proponent of the “rules based international order”, which truth be told, is a thinly veiled euphemism for a world based on American hegemony. While it is true that India has used the phrase as well, the intended meaning behind the usage of the term has been starkly different than when it is used by Americans.
While India has emphasised the importance of international institutions and global cooperation during its usage of the term, the USA has used the same as a talking point to peddle its own agenda at the global stage.
“What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called “rules-based” international order,” Yang said.
“And the United States has its style – United States-style democracy – and China has the Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world to evaluate how the United States has done in advancing its own democracy,” he added.
Furthermore, Yang took potshots at the United States for its forever wars in the Middle East to promote Democracy. “The wars in this world are launched by some other countries, which have resulted in massive casualties,” Yang stated.
“So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world. Many people within the United States actually have little confdence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the Government of the United States,” he stated.
Taking a dig at the USA for its various regime change wars, Yang noted the “failure to use various means to topple the so-called “authoritarian” states.” He also said that the USA is a “champion” in cyber attacks.
Blinken responded, taking a jibe at Yang for the latter’s “extended remarks”, said, “I have to tell you, what I’m hearing is very different from what you described. I’m hearing deep satisfaction that the United States is back, that we’re reengaged with our allies and partners. I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government has taken, and we’ll have an opportunity to discuss those when we get down to work.”
Wang shot back saying, “Well, it was my bad. When I entered this room, I should have reminded the U.S. side of paying attention to its tone in our respective opening remarks, but I didn’t.” He added, “The Chinese side felt compelled to make this speech because of the tone of the U.S. side. Well, isn’t this the intention of United States, judging from what – or the way that you have made your opening remarks, that it wants to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength?”
He added, “So let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualifcation to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength. The U.S. side was not even qualifed to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people. If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let’s follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way.”
The Chinese side also brought up the Black Lives Matter protests and America’s track record of treating African Americans as evidence that the USA itself had failed to live up to its human rights ideals and urged the United States to do better when it comes to human rights.
There is some element of truth in the comments made by Wang and Yang, especially with matters related to Democracy and the “rules based international order”. While the United States harps on democracy and “rules”, it has waged wars for oil in the Middle East with little regard for international rules. And China appears to have decided that it will not allow the American charade to go unchallenged.
It has been a terrible week for the Biden administration in terms of international relations. Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Russian state media implied that US President Joe Biden had gone senile and was mentally unfit to be president after Biden said that he believed Putin is a “killer”.
Putin said, “I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without any delays and directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that would be interesting for the people of Russia and for the people of the United States.”
This was after Putin’s initial response following the “killer” remark where he said, “I wish you good health, I am saying this without any irony or jokes.”
Furthermore, it was reported earlier in the week that North Korea has not been responding to US efforts to establish dialogue. “We have already declared our stand that no DPRK-U.S. contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the U.S. rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK,” first vice minister of Foreign Affairs, Choe Son Hui, said.
Choe also described US attempts to establish contact through multiple e-mails, phone calls and messages through a third country since February as a “cheap trick”. “We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off [gun] powder smell in our land,” dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong said in response to a joint military exercise between South Korea and the USA in the region.
“If it [the U.S.] wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step,” she is reported to have said.
To sum up the rotten week, the Biden administration had to confront Chinese officials who appeared intent on throwing ink at their faces. US officials suggested that the Chinese delegation “seem to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance”.