OREANDA-NEWS. The first meeting of senior representatives of the new US administration and the Chinese leadership, designed to lay the foundation for a new relationship between the two countries, began with a public exchange of harsh accusations.

At a meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, on the evening of Thursday, March 18, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused China of cyber attacks, economic blackmail of Washington's allies, human rights violations in Hong Kong and oppression of Uighurs, and said that «US relations with China will be competitive when necessary, when possible — based on cooperation and when necessary — hostile». Beijing's actions threaten global stability, Blinken concluded.

Yang Jiechi, the head of the office of the CPC Central Committee's Foreign Affairs Commission, responded with a 15-minute speech in Chinese, in which he criticized the «weakening democracy» in the United States, the oppression of minorities, as well as American foreign and trade policy. «You are abusing so-called national security concepts to obstruct normal trade exchanges and inciting some countries to attack China», he said, also referring to police violence in the US, racism and the Black Lives Matter movement for African-American rights.

The welcoming ceremony, which usually lasted only a few minutes, turned into an hour-long exchange. The delegations of the two countries got into a dispute over when exactly the journalists should leave the hall. The US representative accused China of violating protocol, according to which only two minutes were allowed for opening speeches, informs Reuters.