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Anchorage could be neutral ground for a U.S. - China “reset”

The South China Morning Post reports Alaska could host high-level diplomatic talks between the...
The South China Morning Post reports Alaska could host high-level diplomatic talks between the U.S. and China. The U.S. State Department has not confirmed any planned meetings between the two nations.
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:08 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - According to an article published online by the South China Morning Post, “China and the United States are in talks for their top diplomats to meet in Alaska in a bid to reset a volatile but pivotal relationship.”

It would not be the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping and top aides visited Alaska. In 2017, Jinping stopped in Anchorage for several hours to meet with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. At the time Walker said they avoided national political topics, and instead focused on the Alaska-China trade relationship, discussing the seafood industry, tourism, Alaska natural gas, and Anchorage’s prominence as a world cargo hub.

After a tumultuous four years, top diplomats from both nations may plan to meet in Anchorage to improve relations, according to the article in the South Morning Post.

Through spokesperson Ned Price, the U.S. State Department Tuesday offered no confirmation that talks with China had evolved well enough to contemplate face-to-face discussions on U.S. soil.

“We don’t have any meetings to announce at this time, but we know what we have to do to engage China. We know what we will do to engage China. And we’ve started some of that important work,” Price said during a wide-ranging briefing with reporters Tuesday.

Price reiterated the U.S.’s posture toward China, recalling the words of Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, who said the relationship “will be competitive when it should be, it will be collaborative when it can be, and it will be adversarial when it must be.”

As the prospect for talks about trade and business relationships between the two nations appear to be improving, the U.S. remains vigilantly concerned about human rights violations, Price said.

Price cited genocide in the Xinjiang region, where ethnic minorities have been subjected to forced sterilizations and internment camps.

He also mentioned concern for “the way in which Beijing is trampling democracy in Hong Kong.”

A spokesperson for Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Dunleavy’s office was unaware of any planned meetings in Alaska between the Biden administration and the Chinese government.

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