US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman reached China on July 26 following a recently strained relationship between the countries with two foreign ministry officials. Detailing the list of concerns taken up by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman during her visit to the People’s Republic of China, she added that the concerns were raised in private. Sherman is the first senior diplomat under US President Joe Biden’s administration to arrive in the Asian country as the bilateral ties between the world’s two largest economies continue to deteriorate. Here is the list of discussions put forward by the US official:
Beijing’s anti-democratic crackdown in Hong Kong
The ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang
Abuses in Tibetrole
Provocative military action in Taiwan
While speaking exclusively to Republic, the Deputy Secretary revealed that the US does not agree particularly with certain actions from China due to their absence of diplomacy.
“There is an absence of diplomacy in China and this is why we particularly disagree with certain actions of the country. I had several discussions during the meeting including human rights violations including crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, Provocative military action in Taiwan, and anti-democratic crackdown in Hongkong,” added Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Visit to China
In a press release issued by the US, the Deputy Secretary expressed sincere condolences for the lives lost in the devastating floods in Henan Province this week. Moreover, a ‘frank and open’ discussion had taken place between officials from both sides. Sherman had visited China from July 25-26.
“The Deputy Secretary and State Councilor Wang had a frank and open discussion about a range of issues, demonstrating the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between our two countries. They discussed ways to set terms for responsible management of the U.S-China relationship,” added US press release.
Additionally, the Deputy Secretary had also raised concerns regarding the cases of American and Canadian citizens detained in China or under exit bans and reminded PRC officials that people are not ‘bargaining chips’. China’s non-cooperation regarding the investigation on the origins of COVID-19 was also discussed in the meeting. Meanwhile, China has also called on the United States to stop “demonising” Beijing during the talks with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
China counters US on COVID-19 origin
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been fractious and more turbulent since the start of COVID-19. Former US President Donald Trump had also hardened his stance on China. The current Biden administration has also called for yet another COVID-19 origin probe, suggesting that the virus leaked from the labs in Wuhan. However, China has opposed the claims and instead demanded that WHO experts should go to Fort Detrick in the United States.