Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses the media following U.S.-China talks in Anchorage, Alaska, on the 19th. of March.

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That’s according to a senior Chinese official who spoke in Anchorage last week with senior Biden administration officials during their first meeting. This is a new reality in U.S.-China relations, now opponents look to take advantage of President Biden, as they have.

Barack Obama.

Both sides agreed to two minutes for opening statements from each side.

Anthony Blinken

kept his speech short and inviting, though he said the United States is deeply concerned about China’s actions, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, cyber attacks against the United States and economic harassment of our allies. Each of these actions threatens the rules-based order that maintains stability in the world.

Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of China,

Yang Jiechi,

and then began a 20-minute diatribe (translation included) about the superiority of Chinese-style democracy and the sins of America. These include references to Black Lives Matter, human rights issues and the exercise of jurisdiction by the United States, as well as the removal of long-range weapons and the control of national security through the use of force or financial hegemony.

Mr Young added: That is why we think it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop extolling its own democracy to the rest of the world. Many people in the United States actually have little faith in American democracy. As noted earlier, the Chinese like to repeat the American media’s agitated criticism of America.

Mr. Blinken replied that the U.S. recognizes its shortcomings, that it is not perfect, that it makes mistakes, that it has setbacks, that it takes steps backward, but that it is making progress again. True, but you don’t have to defend yourself after a foreigner openly attacks American interests and values.

***

It was just one meeting, but she set the tone for the world’s most important bilateral relationship. Rumor has it that the private conversations on the Chinese side were just as difficult as the public appearances. The Chinese are making it clear that Beijing wants to return to the Obama administration after the Trump years to accommodate China’s global gains.

This means that there is little objection to the theft of Chinese cyber property and intellectual property. This means the end of the US policy of building an alliance of democracies in Asia to counter Chinese aggression. Most importantly, it would end the criticism or sanctions against China for violating the treaty with Britain over Hong Kong, threatening to invade Taiwan or locking up wigs in re-education camps in Xinjiang.

There’s no reason not to. There’s no other way to do it than to do it.

Jake Sullivan.

had a number of well-planned meetings with allies in the Indo-Pacific region prior to the meeting in Anchorage. They also reached an agreement on funding for the deployment of US troops to South Korea.

But the real challenge will be how she responds to the aggressive plans of her opponents in Beijing, Moscow and Tehran. The hard-working people in these capitals remember how they used to get by when Mr. B. was still a big shot. Biden’s liberal internationalists were in power under Obama. Russia conquered Crimea, invaded eastern Ukraine and entered Syria. China has seized islands for military bases in the South China Sea and stolen American secrets with impunity. Iran spread terrorism through proxies throughout the Middle East and fled.

John Kerry

about the nuclear deal.

These regional authorities want to know if this new US administration is Obama II. Tehran’s renewed willingness to return to the flawed 2015 nuclear deal is a sign of weakness.

Vladimir Putin

Will certainly take action against U.S. interests in response to Mr. Biden’s affirmative answer last week to the question of whether the Russian is a murderer, seize.

The biggest test will be China, which is becoming increasingly convinced it has a strategic advantage over a declining America. If you don’t believe that, read Mr. Young’s comments in Anchorage. The mentality of the current rulers in Beijing is nothing like that of the Soviet Union in the 1970s, when America’s decline was fashionable and communists around the world were looking for progress. Except that China has much more economic power these days.

Taiwan’s future is perhaps the most difficult challenge of all. As the world’s semiconductor manufacturing hub, the island is critical to US economic interests and as a democratic ally.

Си Цзиньпин

has made it clear that the conquest of Taiwan is a priority, and the Chinese military is building up a force capable of rapid invasion. Xi will try to trade promises on climate change for American acquiescence in Taiwan.

This is a dangerous time, as rogue states look to test the Biden administration’s resolve. The speech in Anchorage is a warning that should be taken seriously.

Newspaper article: A radical way to communicate a progressive agenda. Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Appears on the 22nd. March 2021 in the print edition.

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