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Top Biden officials to meet with Chinese in Alaska

Top Biden officials to meet with Chinese in Alaska
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Top Biden administration officials will meet with their Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska, later this month, the State Department announced on Wednesday.

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Blinken calls for Taiwan to join World Health Assembly in opposition to China US general warns China is actively seeking to set up an Atlantic naval base MORE and President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain MORE’s national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanBiden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Will Biden provide strategic clarity or further ambiguity on Taiwan? State Department denies reports of prisoner swap with Iran MORE will meet with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Politburo, while in Alaska.

State Department spokesman Ned Price announced the meeting in a statement that did not specify the issues that the group would discuss.

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“The meeting will take place following Secretary Blinken’s meetings with two of our closest regional allies in Tokyo and Seoul. Secretary Blinken and NSA Sullivan will discuss a range of issues with the” People’s Republic of China, Price said. “Secretary Blinken will return to Washington, D.C. on March 19.”

Asked about the meeting during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing later Wednesday, Blinken described it as “an important opportunity, for us, to lay out in very frank terms the many concerns we have with Beijing’s actions and behavior that are challenging the security, prosperity and values of the United States and our allies.”

“We intend to raise, and we will raise, the host of issues, some of which have already been touched on today that concern us. We’ll also explore whether there are avenues for cooperation and we’ll talk about the competition that we have in China, with China, to make sure that the United States has a level playing field and that our companies and workers benefit from that.”

Blinken said that the meeting did not represent a “strategic dialogue” and said there were no plans to have follow-on engagements with China unless Beijing changes its concerning behavior.

The South China Morning Post reported earlier this week that both sides were attempting to set up a meeting in Alaska.

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Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense: Former Navy secretary reportedly spent .4M on travel | Ex-Pentagon chief Miller to testify on Jan. 6 Capitol attack | Austin to deliver West Point commencement speech White House posts visitor logs for first time since Obama Overnight Defense: US may keep training Afghan forces in other countries | Defense chief tight-lipped on sexual assault decision | 'Swift' return to Iran deal possible, US says MORE are expected to travel to Japan and South Korea next week, in what will be the first overseas trip for senior Biden officials.

The meeting between the U.S. and China is likely to touch on issues including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and China’s behavior in Hong Kong. Biden has made clear he wants to work with Beijing in areas of shared interest but intends to press China on its human rights and economic abuses.

Biden held his first call with Chinese President Xi Jinping in February during which he raised concerns about a range of issues.

“Of course, there’ll be a range of engagements that the President and his National Security team will have with China and other countries in the region in the months and years ahead, but we are directly engaged,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden 'confident' meeting with Putin will take place soon Sinema urges Biden to take 'bold' action at border: 'This is a crisis' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - More states are passing voting restrictions MORE told reporters Tuesday when asked about reports of a potential meeting.

“There are a range of issues we, of course, have talked with the Chinese about through those engagements.  We don't hold back about our concerns, but we also look for opportunities to work together,” Psaki added.

Updated at 3:51 p.m.