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China’s ambassador to US says he doesn’t have ‘high expectations’ for Alaska summit

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Top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi will meet Thursday and Friday in Anchorage, Alaska, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

There is no public agenda for the event, but a U.S. State Department spokesman said “a number of issues” would be discussed. “We will certainly not throw any punches when discussing our areas of disagreement,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on March 11th.

The summit follows a prolonged deterioration in Beijing-Washington relations under former U.S. President Donald Trump, including the imposition of trade sanctions, mutual visa restrictions and technology bans.

Speaking Wednesday in Alaska, Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States, said the Chinese government “did not expect to resolve all issues in a single dialogue.”

“We don’t have high expectations or fantasy,” Cui said. “I think both sides attach a lot of importance to it. We’ve prepared a lot in the last few days.”

Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States, speaks during an interview in New York on Friday, May 24, 2019.
Although the Chinese government has said it hoped the two countries could “find me halfway” the White House has noted that it would likely continue with the tough stance put forward by the previous administration.

Speaking in Japan on Wednesday, Blinken accused China of using “coercion and aggression” to undermine human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and asserted its claims in Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The same day, the US announced one decision to sanction 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials in response to new restrictions on democracy in Hong Kong that will further curb the right of people in the city to run in elections.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the country has taken action contrary to the US decision. When asked if Beijing would take additional action, Cui replied, “As the situation evolves, we will continue to do so if necessary.”

Cui said in talks with U.S. representatives that China would not compromise on key issues related to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Judicial dates have been set for two Canadians detained in China on charges of espionage

“The prerequisite for dialogue and communication between any country is that the two sides have the spirit of equality and mutual respect,” he said.

“I hope both sides come sincerely and leave with a better mutual understanding.”

Thursday’s meeting between the two sides is to be held at the same time as the trial of a Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who has been arrested in China since December 2018.

Both Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig have been accused by Beijing of espionage, although their charges have been denounced by Ottawa as political motives.

Blinken tea previously expressed in support of the two Canadians, demanding that they be released “immediately and unconditionally.”

CNN’s Beijing office contributed to this article.

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