BLUF

The first face-to-face meeting between Biden Administration Officials and their Chinese counterparts has ended without any improvement in relations.

Summary

Recent person to person talks between the USA and China showed that geopolitical competition is as prevalent as ever. There were no diplomatic niceties. The US reiterated the importance of the rules-based international order that maintains global stability. However, human rights seem to be more important to the Biden administration than it was to its predecessor.

  • The USA's stated concerns with China are as follows;
  • Uighur internment camps.
  • Hong Kong democracy.
  • Taiwan status quo.
  • Cyber attacks.
  • Economic coercion of allies.

China criticised the US for the following: 

  • Being a struggling democracy.
  • The poor treatment of minorities.
  • Foreign and trade policies
  • Interference in China's internal affairs.

Previously, China had stated it wanted to improve relations with the US, but this did not transpire during the meeting. The US said relations with China would not improve until the economic coercion of its allies (including Australia) by China cease. Consider how the US, specifically mentioning its allies in talks with China, helps Australia.