Washington (CNN)The US and China fought a war of words Monday as each side worked to set the narrative after their latest testy senior-level meetings.
A US delegation led by the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials in Tianjin, China, a week after the Biden administration joined an international coalition to condemn China for its global cyberattacks.
The State Department called the meetings “frank and open” — diplomatic code for a skirmish — and painted Beijing as an international outlier that is subverting international norms, listing China’s genocide in Xinjiang and its refusal to cooperate with an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
“The Deputy Secretary underscored that the United States welcomes the stiff competition between our countries—and that we intend to continue to strengthen our own competitive hand—but that we do not seek conflict with” China, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Monday.
Beijing, describing the talks as “in-depth and frank,” responded with a torrent of condemnation. Chinese officials expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with Washington’s “extremely dangerous China policy” and accused it of hypocrisy on human rights.