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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S.-China meeting expected to touch on Taiwan: State Department

ROC Central News Agency

03/12/2021 12:54 PM

Washington, March 11 (CNA) The upcoming meeting between senior officials of the United States and China is expected to touch on a range of "difficult" issues, including Taiwan, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are scheduled to meet with their Chinese counterparts -- Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅), and senior diplomat Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) -- in Alaska on March 18.

It will be the first high-ranking meeting between Washington and Beijing since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January.

At a news briefing Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price cited Blinken as saying that the relationship between the U.S. and China was "multifaceted."

Washington's approach has been to compete with and ultimately outdo Beijing in areas that are competitive, Price said, citing Blinken.

At the March 18 meeting between the two sides, some sticky issues are likely to be raised, Price said.

"I have every expectation that when it comes to those more difficult issues - Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, pressure on Taiwan, broader human rights abuses, the South China Sea, the Mekong, economic pressure, arbitrary detentions, the origins of COVID-19, other issues -- I have every expectation they will come up," Price told reporters.

He said the U.S.' values are considered the basis it its strength. The U.S. is consistently in sync with its allies and partners, speaking up in their defense and condemning China's affronts to many of their shared and universal values, whether it's Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Xinjiang, Price said.

The U.S.' talks with China next week are likely to be a "difficult conversation," he said, adding that the U.S. "will certainly not pull any punches in discussing our areas of disagreement."

That is not to say, however, that the talks will be "purely adversarial or have to be purely predicated on issues of profound disagreement," Price added.

In a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Blinken told U.S. lawmakers that when he meets with his Chinese counterpart, he will frankly express concerns about how Beijing's actions and behavior challenge the security, prosperity and values of not only the U.S. but also its partners and allies.

The meeting is scheduled to take place in the U.S. state of Alaska, after Blinken visits Japan and South Korea next week on his first overseas trip as Secretary of State.

(By Stacy Hsu and Frances Huang)

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