Tough talk at first face-to-face US, China meeting in Biden era

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"As we work to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations in the region, China abuses its economic power through coercive trade policies that aim to force vulnerable countries to alter their trade relationships with the US".

"Restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses adopted", one European Union diplomat said.

President Joe Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan added that the United States did not want conflict with China but welcomed tough competition with its strategic rival.

The exchange, which took place in front of the world's media, went on for more than an hour.

A third meeting is scheduled for Friday morning.

In a long speech in response, Yang lashed out about what he said was the United States' struggling democracy and poor treatment of minorities and that the U.S. should end its "Cold War mentality" stunting the rivals' relationship.

Beforehand the Biden team had been blunt in public criticism of Beijing.

There may have been a certain amount of posturing involved, as a USA official said the private conversation that followed was substantive and serious.

"China has no room for compromise on issues concerning its sovereignty, security and core interests", spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

But the two-day meeting got off to a rocky start with both sides having differing accounts of the encounter, with the Chinese state media sending out a flurry of reports and alerts setting out the Chinese version of events after the first round of talks ended.

"The Chinese delegation. seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance", the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told reporters in Anchorage, according to Reuters.

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Chinese officials so publicly confronting the U.S.is not just to please its increasingly nationalist and autocratic leader Xi Jinping, but also to assert itself on the world stage.

Topics of discussion during the meeting in Anchorage are also expected to include North Korea's denuclearization, with the United States expecting China, which has been Pyongyang's primary diplomatic backer, to play a key role in the issue. They accused the USA of making a "groundless attack on China's domestic and foreign policies".

On a more positive note, it quoted Mr Yang as saying that "serious difficulties in China-US relations in the past should not continue".

Mr Blinken said the Biden administration is united with its allies in pushing back against China's increasing authoritarianism and assertiveness at home and overseas.

China is looking for a reset after relations hit rock bottom under the Trump administration, our correspondent adds. Mr Wang has said that Beijing is ready to reopen "constructive dialogue".

"Show (the US) that China is not to be trifled with", wrote one comment on the Twitter-like Weibo, responding to a video of the meeting.

Trade for instance. The US accuses China of unfair practices, such as subsidising industries, stealing intellectual property, keeping its currency low and putting up barriers to trade.

China, in turn, has indicated that it wants the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, including limitations on US technology sales to Chinese telecommunications companies and chipmakers.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department served subpoenas on multiple Chinese companies as part of the U.S. effort to target technology and services that could threaten national security. "China shamelessly demonstrates a blatant disregard for human rights and a lack of respect for worldwide diplomacy", wrote the lawmakers led by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson on Thursday.

"It commits horrific genocide against its own Uyghur population, attacks Hong Kong's democracy, engages in unwarranted combat at the India-China Line of Actual Control, and incessantly increases the militarization of the Taiwan Strait".

Mr Yang said China firmly opposed U.S. interference in its internal affairs.

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