Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), referring to Chinese diplomats lecturing their American counterparts on human rights and democracy during the first Washington-Beijing meeting of the current U.S. administration Thursday, indicated that Communist China believes it can steamroll U.S. President Joe Biden’s representatives.
“[China] believes it can roll the Biden administration,” Sen. Hawley, a Senate Armed Services Committee member, wrote on Twitter Friday.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 19, 2021
Hawley’s comment came in response to a tweet from Jordan Schneider, an analyst for the Rhodium Group focused on China, who wrote:
It’s crazy how Chinese officials, by and large, held their tongue when engaging with the Trump administration, but in their first interaction with Biden folks, who you think they’d want to make a decent first impression with, they decide to go full Wolf Warrior to impress [Chinese dictator] Xi [Jinping].
The meeting took place in Alaska Thursday between American Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Yang Jiechi, a member of China’s Communist Party’s Politburo; and the country’s top diplomat and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
They opened the high-level meeting with an undiplomatic war of words.
During the first in-person meeting between the Biden administration and Chinese officials, Beijing indicated that it would do what it wants, irrespective of U.S. and its allies’ concerns.
The meeting came after Blinken visited Asia, marking his first visit abroad. In Japan, the secretary of State warned that the U.S. would “push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way.”
U.S. State Department officials provided a transcript of the meeting’s’s participants’ opening remarks.
Nevertheless, Yang said Thursday China does not respect “the so-called ‘rules-based international order” promoted by the U.S. and its allies after Blinken noted, “The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right, and winners take all, and that would be a far more violent and unstable world for all of us.”
“We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition, and we will always stand up for our principles, for our people, and for our friends,” Blinken added. “We look forward to discussing all of these matters with you in the hours ahead.’
The secretary of State stressed that the Biden administration would not relent to hold Beijing accountable for its nefarious acts.
He pointed out:
We’ll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability. That’s why they’re not merely internal matters and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.
I said that the United States’ relationship with China will be competitive where it should be, collaborative where it can be, adversarial where it must be.
China’s top diplomat, Yang, went on to attack America’s democracy, urging the United States “to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world.”
“Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the Government of the United States,” he said.
Saying that the U.S. is mistreating blacks, he blasted human rights in America.
In human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights. … The challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently. So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this world.
He also criticized America for “invading” other nations while accusing China of doing the same. Yang said:
We do not believe in invading through the use of force, or to topple other regimes through various means, or to massacre the people of other countries, because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this world.
So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image … many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the Government of the United States.
After the meeting, an unnamed U.S. official accused China of “grandstanding,” Politico reported.