The Biden administration’s first face-to-face encounter with China ended on Friday after a vivid demonstration of how the world’s two largest economic and technological powers are facing a widening gulf of distrust and disagreements on a range of issues that will shape the global landscape for years to come.
The two sides left Anchorage on Friday without any joint statement of their willingness to work together. “We know, and knew going in, that there are a number of areas where we are fundamentally at odds,” US secretary of state Antony Blinken said. “It’s no surprise that when we raised those issues, clearly and directly, we got a defensive response,” he said referring rights abuse in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. China, however, said it had agreed with the US to take up climate change and some other issues, signalling a possible modicum of progress.