July 27, 2021: -Another high-level meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials this time in the Chinese city of Tianjin, just outside of Beijing concluded Monday with criticism from both sides.
Before the talks even ended, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday the two countries’ relationship “is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties.”
“Fundamentally, it is because some Americans portray China as an ‘imagined enemy,’” the ministry’s English-language release said. “We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy.”
However, the statement said that China still wanted to work with the U.S. on the condition leaders “change course” and adhere to Chinese interests.
State news agency Xinhua said Xie subsequently told media the Chinese side presented the U.S. with two lists, one of “errors” it needed to address, and the other issues Beijing considered necessary.
The first list called for the U.S. to withdraw its extradition request of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, lift sanctions on Chinese officials, remove visa restrictions on Chinese students, stop suppressing Chinese companies, among other recommendations.
When asked about the lists on a call with reporters following the meeting, senior U.S. administration officials did not name the items. Still, they said generally that both sides raised issues, and the U.S. planned to follow up with the Chinese concerns.
However, the two sides did not talk about a China-U.S. summit meeting, the U.S. officials said, noting it was up to China to take that next step.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last several years. Former U.S. President Donald Trump used tariffs and sanctions to address longstanding criticism against China, such as unequal market access, lack of intellectual property protection, and forcing businesses to transfer technology to operate in the country.
The goal of the meetings was not a negotiation. Still, an effort to keep high-level communication channels open, senior State Department officials said in a briefing with reporters over the weekend.
The U.S. officials expected to meet with Xie first, and then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The leaders are expected to work toward the first meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Biden, likely around the G-20 summit in October.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing Wednesday that Sherman would travel to China “from a position of strength,” similar to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska.
That gathering in March, the first high-level meeting between the two countries under Biden’s administration, kicked off with an exchange of insults