NEWS & ANALYSIS

China to Press U.S. to Reverse Trump-Era Policies, Restrictions at Alaska Meeting

The meeting in Alaska on Thursday will give both countries a chance to re-calibrate the relationship between the world’s two largest economies


In the first meeting between senior U.S. and China officials since Joe Biden took office, Beijing is set to pressure Washington to reverse many of the China centric policies implemented under Trump. 

The meeting in Alaska on Thursday will give both countries a chance to re-calibrate the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, butting heads over technology, human rights, trade and military leadership in Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. officials say the meeting will allow for discussion on Chinese actions like the lack of freedoms in Hong Kong, naval expansion in the South China Sea, economic pressure on U.S. allies, intellectual-property violations and cybersecurity incursions. 

The U.S. also plans to present ways the two countries can work together on climate change and global health. 

China, however, has a different plan of action. 

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party ruling body and Foreign Minister Wang Yi plan to press Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan to do away with the Trump-era sanctions and restrictions on Chinese individuals and entities. 

Chinese officials also plan to propose a virtual summit between Xi Jinping and Biden in April. 

That could be unlikely, though, as Biden hasn’t even done his first solo news conference yet. 

The policies and procedures China wants reversed include limits on American sales to Chinese firms, visa restrictions on Communist Party members, Chinese students and state-media journalists, and closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston. 

If the restrictions are removed or lightened up, China could eliminate its own that were put in place as retaliation. 

A Biden administration official told the Wall Street Journal  that the symbolism of the meeting is significant, and noted the importance of having both the secretary of state and the national security adviser represent the U.S. In the past, China has tried to capitalize on splits among American representatives.

The session will help each side better understand the other. “It’s about communicating the areas where we intend to take steps, and it’s about understanding where our Chinese interlocutors are at,” the official said.