The Sunday editions of all national dailies reported on Secretary of State Blinken’s teleconference on Friday with Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs of China. According to a State Department announcement, Secretary Blinken stressed that the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. The Secretary also reaffirmed that the United States will work together with its allies and partners in defense of their shared values and interests to hold the PRC accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific including the Taiwan Strait. The Secretary urged China to join the international community in condemning the military coup in Myanmar (Burma). However, Yang expressed Beijing’s opposition to the idea of imposing sanctions on Myanmar.
Yomiuri wrote that the U.S. and Chinese officials were clearly at odds, with Yang rebutting Secretary Blinken’s arguments at the core of the Biden administration’s hardline policy toward China. Asahi wrote that although the Xi administration is seeking opportunities to mend ties with Washington under the Biden administration, the exchange between the two officials demonstrated major differences between Washington and Beijing. Mainichi wrote that Secretary Blinken expressed the Biden administration’s firm position of protecting such values as democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.