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China-U.S. high-level strategic dialogue kicks off with contentious opening
Last Updated: 2021-03-20 09:43 | Xinhua
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The icy Alaskan city of Anchorage on Thursday witnessed a highly-charged opening of a high-level strategic dialogue between China and the United States.
 
The Chinese side arrived with sincerity for the dialogue at the invitation of the U.S. side, but the hearts of the delegation's members were chilled by how their American hosts treated their guests.
 
As the dialogue is ongoing, the international community still hopes for healthy China-U.S. relations through effective communication.
 
PROVOCATIVE MOVES
 
The minimum and most basic prerequisite for dialogues and communication between any countries is that both sides should have a spirit of equality and mutual respect, said Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai one day ahead of the dialogue.
 
The dialogue is the first high-level contact between China and the United States after their heads of state had a phone call on the eve of the Chinese lunar new year, and the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January.
 
Regrettably, the U.S. side kept taking provocative steps before and at the start of the dialogue.
 
When delivering opening remarks first, the U.S. side seriously overran the agreed time and provocatively launched groundless attacks and accusations against China's domestic and foreign policies, according to an official with the Chinese delegation on Thursday.
 
It is not the proper way of hosting guests, nor is it compatible with diplomatic protocol, according to the briefing.
 
Moreover, just ahead of the dialogue, Washington announced fresh sanctions against Chinese officials, falsely claiming that the actions of the designated officials "have reduced Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy."
 
On Tuesday, a U.S.-Japan joint statement was issued after "2+2" talks between foreign and defense ministers of the two countries, which maliciously attacked China's foreign policy, seriously interfered in China's internal affairs and attempted to damage China's interests.
 
CHINA'S STANCES
 
Concerning U.S. groundless attacks, the Chinese senior officials attending the talks have responded firmly and expounded China's staunch stances in solemen responses.
 
The United States should stop its interference in China's internal affairs, and avoid confrontation between the two major countries, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks on Thursday.
 
It is hoped that the U.S. side will change its zero-sum mentality, abandon such wrong practices as "long-arm jurisdiction," and does not abuse the concept of national security to interfere with normal trade between the two countries, Yang said.
 
The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner, and the Chinese people will not accept that, said Yang, adding that it must be based on mutual respect to deal with China, and history will prove that those who seek to strangle China will suffer in the end.
 
Yang also noted that the United States has its own model of democracy, and China has its own style, adding that any attempt to change China's social system is futile.
 
Also attending the dialogue, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the U.S. escalation of sanctions against China over Hong Kong-related issue is a gross interference in China's internal affairs, which has aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people.
 
If the United States wants to enhance its so-called advantage over China through the act, it is totally miscalculated as this just exposes the inner weakness and powerlessness of America, Wang said, adding this practice will not at all affect China's legitimate position, nor will it shake the firm will of the Chinese people to safeguard sovereignty and dignity of the nation.
 
COMMUNICATION FOR HEALTHY RELATIONS
 
As Yang said, the Chinese and American people, as well as the wider international community are looking forward to practical outcomes from the dialogue.
 
With the dialogue still underway, experts also expected that strengthening communication will help return China-U.S. relations to the track of healthy and stable development.
 
"It is hoped that the dialogue will promote the resumption of China-U.S. cooperation and promote the development of China-U.S. relations," said Wang Fan, vice president of China Foreign Affairs University.
 
There are certainly differences between the two countries, the scholar said, emphasizing the differences should be handled in a way that features mutual respect and equality.
 
Healthy China-U.S. relations "are beneficial to both sides," he said.
 
"It is certain that dialogue and consultation are still an important, or the only and best way to resolve, stabilize and restore China-U.S. relations," said Diao Daming, an associate professor with Renmin University of China.
 
"Dialogue and consultation must be conducted with an attitude of mutual respect and in a win-win manner, otherwise it will be meaningless," Diao said.
 
"We hope the United States can meet China halfway and following the spirit of our heads of state's telephone conversation on the eve of the Chinese lunar new year, focus on cooperation, manage difference and bring bilateral relations back onto the track of sound and stable development," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. 

(Editor:Liao Yifan)

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China-U.S. high-level strategic dialogue kicks off with contentious opening
Source:Xinhua | 2021-03-20 09:43
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