Blinken: U.S. will "hold Beijing accountable for its abuses of the international system"
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi Friday that the U.S. will stand up for human rights and democratic values, and "hold Beijing accountable for its abuses of the international system."
The big picture: Blinken's phone call with Yang comes just days after President Biden said the U.S. would confront Beijing over its "economic abuses," "coercive actions" and "attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance."
- Biden argued that the keys to confronting China would be getting our own house in order, working with allies, strengthening multilateralism and "reclaiming our credibility and moral authority, much of which has been lost," Axios' Dave Lawler wrote.
What he's saying: "In my call with my counterpart in Beijing, Yang Jiechi, I made clear the U.S. will defend our national interests, stand up for our democratic values, and hold Beijing accountable for its abuses of the international system," Blinken tweeted Friday night.
- In a readout of the call, the State Department also said, "Blinken stressed the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, and pressed China to join the international community in condemning the military coup in Burma [Myanmar]."
- The readout added that Blinken "reaffirmed that the United States will work together with its allies and partners in defense of our shared values and interests to hold the PRC accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait, and its undermining of the rules-based international system."
The other side: “China-US relations are now standing at a key moment and the Chinese government has taken a stable and consistent policy toward the United States,” Yang told Blinken, per the South China Morning Post.
- Yang also said Taiwan is “the most important and sensitive” issue to China, and that Washington shouldn't interfere with Beijing's affairs in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, SCMP reported.
Go deeper: Biden sets his sights on China