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China Offers Blinken Cold Welcome in Shanghai, Mocks Visit as ‘Imploring’

via CNBC
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in China for meetings with officials amid tensions over issues such as Taiwan, human rights, and trade.

Chinese officials did not accord Blinken high honors and warned him not to challenge the Communist Party.

“The Secretary will also discuss ongoing work to fulfill the commitments made by Presidents Biden and Xi at the Woodside Summit in November on resuming counternarcotics cooperation, military-to-military communication, artificial intelligence, and strengthening people-to-people ties,” the State Department stated.

“Our ongoing, direct engagement is vital,” Blinken said.

Blinken planned to discuss topics like counternarcotics cooperation and people-to-people ties as called for in the Biden-Xi summit.

However, China denied accusations of genocide against Uyghurs and demanded an end to US tariffs.

“As everyone knows, the so-called ‘ethnic genocide’ in Xinjiang [East Turkistan] is an outright ‘lie of the century,’” the Global Times stated.

“Some of the differences between China and the US stem from either America’s fundamental misunderstanding of China’s true situation or deliberately portraying China as a rival of the US and distorting perceptions of China for the purpose of containing China,” they wrote.

It also condemned potential sanctions over Chinese support for Russia in Ukraine as hypocritical.

“The Chinese people have the best say on the human rights in China. China made history by eliminating absolute poverty,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “We practice whole-process people’s democracy and provide the world’s largest education system, social security system and medical care system in China. The Chinese people’s sense of gain, happiness and security keeps getting stronger.”

“The United States keeps making groundless accusations over the normal trade and economic exchanges between China and Russia, while passing a bill providing a large amount of aid for Ukraine,” Wang said. “This is just hypocritical and highly irresponsible. China firmly rejects this.”

“Let me point out again that China-US economic ties benefit both sides and there’s no winner in a trade war,” Wang said. “We urge the US to follow WTO [World Trade Organization] rules, lift all additional tariffs on China and stop imposing new ones. China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its rights and interests.”

Blinken seeks to maintain open channels of communication, though his previous meetings with Chinese diplomats yielded little beyond the latter declaring victory in rhetoric.

It remains unclear if Blinken will firmly challenge China on its various transgressions given his prior reluctance to do so strongly.

“One of the important things for me to do on this trip was to disabuse our Chinese hosts of the notion that we are seeking to economically contain them. We’re not,” Blinken said. “And as I’ve said, we are not about decoupling; we’re about de-risking and diversifying.”

Blinken noted that it is “very in our [America’s] interest to continue doing business with China.

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