In the upcoming Beijing-Washington talks in Alaska, it is being expected that China is going to try to persuade the United States to lift the restrictive measures introduced by the previous administration of President Donald Trump.
During the negotiations, the Chinese officials are going to propose the re-establishment of regular high-level contacts as well as to schedule an online summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, during the April conference on climate change, according to sources.
According to media reports, the US agenda for the upcoming talks differs from the Chinese one: Washington wants to express its concern over the Chinese policy in Hong Kong, the boost of naval activities in the South China Sea, economic pressure on US allies, intellectual-property violations, and cyberattacks. At the same time, the United States hopes to discuss cooperation on global health and fighting climate change.
Beijing does not have “high expectations” for upcoming talks with the United States in Alaska, China’s ambassador to the US told reporters on Wednesday, in what will be the first meeting of senior officials from both countries since US President Joe Biden took office.
Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the US, said the Chinese government didn’t “expect to solve all problems in one dialogue”.
“We don’t have high expectations or fantasy,” said Cui. “I think both sides attach great importance to it. We have done a lot in preparation in the past few days.”
Cui said in talks with the US representatives, China would not compromise on key issues related to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“The prerequisite for dialogue and communication between any countries is that both sides should have the spirit of equality and mutual respect,” he said. “I hope both parties will come with sincerity and leave with a better understanding of each other.”
Ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with top Chinese diplomats in Alaska, Washington has imposed sanctions on 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on the city.
The sanctions were introduced under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (HKAA), which was passed by the US last year in response to the imposition of the repressive national security law in the city.
The Biden administration expects that the talks with the Chinese diplomats during the bilateral meeting would be “difficult”, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said last week.
“We expect Beijing to demonstrate seriousness regarding its own off-stated desire to change the tone of our bilateral relationship. This will be a difficult conversation, will be frank in explaining how Beijing’s actions and behavior challenge the security, the prosperity, the values of not only the United States but also our partners and allies,” Price said during a press briefing.
Under the Trump administration, ties between US-China deteriorated over issues such as human rights violations in Xinjiang, encroachment on the special status of Hong Kong, accusations of unfair trade practices by Beijing, lack of transparency concerning the pandemic and China’s military aggression in various parts of the world.