After the U.S.-China high-level talks concluded on March 19 in Alaska, Chinese authorities immediately mobilized China’s state-run media to distort facts about the clash at the meeting and incite anti-U.S. sentiment in China.
The two-day meeting in Anchorage was the first high-level talks between Beijing and the Biden administration. The U.S. delegation was headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and the Chinese side was represented by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and senior foreign policy diplomat Yang Jiechi.
While most of the meeting was held behind closed doors, the opening remarks were public. Each representative was given two minutes to speak. However, due to its intensity, the session ended up lasting for more than an hour.
Blinken’s opening speech lasted for two minutes and 27 seconds, Sullivan completed his speech in 2 minutes 17 seconds; while on China’s side, Yang spoke for 16 minutes and 14 seconds, and the interpreter spent three minutes and 26 seconds translating Yang’s words, followed by Wang’s opening speech which lasted for four minutes and nine seconds.
However, China Central Television (CCTV), China’s largest TV network, blatantly reported contrary to the facts, claiming that the Chinese delegates attended the meeting with sincerity and were willing to follow the rules.
“However, when delivering opening remarks first, the U.S. side seriously overran the agreed time and provocatively launched groundless attacks and accusations against China’s domestic and foreign policies,” the CCTV report said. “It is not the proper way of hosting guests, nor is it compatible with diplomatic protocol, and the Chinese side solemnly responded.”
CCP Furious When Biden Continues Trump’s Anti-CCP Policies
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had believed that President Joe Biden would reverse the Trump administration’s anti-CCP policies as soon as he took office. However, the Biden administration and both U.S. political parties have reached a high degree of consensus on the issue of countering the CCP.
State-run media Xinhua specifically quoted the following statements from Yang Jiechi’s speech at the meeting.
“In front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength. The U.S. side was not even qualified to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people. If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let’s follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way. … Our history will show that one can only cause damage to himself if he wants to strangle or suppress the Chinese people.”
Xinhua also quoted a similar statement by Wang Yi. Wang said, “China certainly in the past has not and in the future will not accept unwarranted accusations from the U.S. side … China urges the U.S. side to fully abandon the hegemonic practice of willfully interfering in China’s internal affairs. This has been a longstanding issue, and it should be changed.”
Yang’s quotes went viral on Chinese social media, such as “We thought too well of the United States,” “The United States itself does not represent international public opinion,” and “We Chinese don’t accept it.”
Chinese netizens applauded the sharp responses from the Chinese delegation. For instance, a comparison chart was circulated online, with a photo of the signing of Xinchou Treaty on top and a photo of the Alaska meeting at the bottom. The Xinchou Treaty, also known as the Boxer Protocol, was an unequal treaty signed in 1901 after the Qing Dynasty surrendered to the Eight-Nation Alliance. Based on China’s 60-year cycle system, the years 1901 and 2021 are both Xinchou Years. The comparison is meant to say that China suffered humiliation in a Xinchou Year before, but it is becoming a powerful nation in the current Xinchou Year.
According to Chinese news portal Sina Weibo, this “Xinchou” comparison chart has been viewed 740 million times and received over 305,000 comments. Almost all these comments were berating the United States such as, “The United States should recognize the new reality,” “This is a major change unseen in a century,” and “China is no longer the weak nation in the Qing Dynasty.”
Xi Jinping’s ‘Eye-Level’ Theory
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China’s hawkish publication Global Times, touted that this meeting may be “written into the annals of history” because it is “an unprecedented face-to-face public confrontation between the two major powers of China and the United States, which is of great significance.”
Regarding the perception of what China is, the Chinese delegation gave the U.S. politicians a clear lesson, and “also gave the U.S. allies a chance to see how China is dealing with the United States—whoever provokes China, don’t expect China to act softly.”
Just two weeks ago, in a group discussion at the CCP’s “Two Sessions” (China’s top political annual meetings), Chinese leader Xi Jinping said, “Younger people born in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s are now in a position to look at this world at ‘eye level’ when they go out to see the world, because China can now look at the world at ‘eye level.’ The younger generation is no longer as old-fashioned and backward as we were back then.”
“Looking at the world at eye level” is a new phrase Xi created. It means that the Chinese people do not have to look up to the rest of the world; instead, they can treat others as their equals.
When the Chinese diplomats acted aggressively at the high-level meeting in Alaska, was it an implementation of Xi’s “eye level” theory?
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.