WASHINGTON (US) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a phone call on Friday the United States will stand up for human rights and democratic values in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, the State Department said.
According to a statement released by the department, Blinken has urged China to condemn the military coup in Myanmar. He stressed that Washington will work with allies to hold China accountable for efforts to threaten stability of Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait.
The relationship between the the two countries were at it’s lowest point in decades during the presidency of Donald Trump. However, Chinese officials have expressed cautious optimism that it would improve under the administration of Joe Biden.
Yang told an online forum on Tuesday that he hoped relations between the two countries could return to a predictable and constructive track, but he called on the United States to “stop interfering” on issues of Chinese sovereignty, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.
Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin also said on Friday that “the common interests of the two countries outweighed their differences” and urged the United States to “meet China halfway” to improve relations.
The State Department, however, said on Thursday that it was “deeply disturbed” by reports of sexual abuse against women in internment camps for ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang.
Biden, on Thursday, described China as “our most serious competitor” and said Washington would continue to confront what he described as China’s “attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance”.
“But we’re ready to work with Beijing, when it’s in America’s interest to do so,” he added.