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US sees Alaska meeting with China as stand-alone event, not start of mechanism

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are hosting on Thursday a meeting in Anchorage, Alaska with a member of China’s Politburo Yang Jiechi and China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, the first event of a kind since the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency.

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Washington: The United States sees an upcoming meeting with top Chinese officials as a stand-alone event rather than the beginning of the negotiating process and one that was important to hold on American soil, a senior administration official told reporters.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are hosting on Thursday a meeting in Anchorage, Alaska with a member of China’s Politburo Yang Jiechi and China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, the first event of a kind since the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency.

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“This really is a one-off meeting. This is not a resumption of a particular dialogue mechanism or the beginning of a dialogue process. This is very much about sitting down, getting an understanding of each other and then taking that back and taking stock,” the official said during a phone briefing. We just felt for a variety of reasons that being on our own territory was extremely important for this meeting and not attempting to meet in China.”

The US administration plans to discuss cyber-related issues with China during the high-level meeting, the official said.

The official added that other pressing matters that will be raised by the US administration include Hong Kong, Taiwan, Uyghurs in Xinjiang, economic coercion of US allies, freedom of navigation in East and South China Seas. The official noted that no negotiated deliverables will come out of the meeting that will take place on Thursday in Anchorage, Alaska.

Over the past several years, China has increased its territorial and maritime claims in the Indo-Pacific region, overlapping with the interests of a number of nations. In particular, Beijing has been locked up in a dispute with Tokyo over a string of uninhabited but resource-rich islets, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

In addition, Beijing has boosted the scale and frequency of its military drills in the Indo-Pacific, prompting the United States and its regional allies — Japan, India and Australia — to enhance strategic cooperation within the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in response.

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