BEIJING (AP) – China said on Saturday it had agreed with the United States to discuss climate change և a number of other issues, a sign of small but likely progress in the recent talks, which were marked by sharp public exchanges around the world. two large economies.
China’s official Xinhua news agency from Alaska, where the two-day meeting ended on Friday, said China and the United States had decided to set up a working group on climate change to negotiate to “facilitate diplomatic and consular activities.” “Missions” on issues related to each other’s journalists.
However, as a sign that the differences are difficult to resolve, US officials said no formal agreement had been reached on resuming dialogue or launching new initiatives.
The two countries have been at loggerheads over visas, consulates and journalists during the Trump administration, and climate change is seen as an area where they can work together.
Top Biden administration officials held their first face-to-face meeting with Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska, since taking office earlier this year. Negotiations began in a tense, “expanded exchange, in front of television cameras on human rights” as officials retreated behind closed doors.
The two countries have differences over a range of issues, from trade to human rights in Tibet, Hong Kong, China’s western Xinjiang region, as well as Taiwan, China’s persistence in the South China Sea, and the coronavirus epidemic.
“The United States should not underestimate China’s determination to defend its national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Foreign Minister Wang Yin told Chinese media after the meeting.
The Biden administration has yet to signal whether it will back down from its tough stance under President Donald Trump. A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said: “There are a number of areas in our normal diplomatic career that we can explore,” but added that there was no formal discussion. about new discussions.
The Xinhua report did not provide any details on the Climate Change Working Group, except that the two countries are committed to deepening ties and cooperation in the field.
It is said that the two sides discussed the adjustment of COVID-19 travel policy, visa policy, mutual agreements on vaccination of their diplomats.
Although the report said that both countries agreed to hold talks on consular representation journalists, it did not mention previous disputes.
Last year, the United States ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, and China responded by closing the US consulate in Chengdu.
Last year, both China and the United States expelled a number of journalists. In addition, Chinese journalists in the United States և Foreign journalists working for the American media in China are now given only three months’ leave, adding to the uncertainty of their tenure, although these positions have been largely renewed.
This report was submitted by Matthew Lee, Washington’s diplomatic diplomat.