Top U.S. and Chinese officials were set to meet again on Friday after offering sharply different views of each other and the world in their first face-to-face talks since President Joe Biden took office.
After the opening on Thursday, the two sides traded barbs, with the U.S. accusing the Chinese delegation of “grandstanding” for domestic consumption in China and Beijing firing back Friday by saying there was a “strong smell of gunpowder and drama” in the room that was entirely the fault of the Americans.
In unusually pointed remarks for a staid diplomatic meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi took aim at each other’s country’s policies. The contentious tone of their public comments suggested the private discussions would be even more rocky.
The meetings in Anchorage, which continue with a closing session on Friday, were a new test in increasingly troubled relations between the two countries, which are at odds over a range of issues from trade to human rights in Tibet, Hong Kong and China’s western Xinjiang region, as well as over Taiwan, China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and the coronavirus pandemic.
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