Blinken raises American concerns with China over Xinjiang, Hong Kong | News of coronavirus pandemic

“Genocide and crimes against humanity,” erosion of “democratic norms” cited by Washington in calls with Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call with China’s top diplomat also expressed U.S. concerns about “ongoing genocide and ethnic policing” against Muslim Uyghurs in China’s far western Xinjiang region and the “deterioration of democratic norms” under China’s rule in Hong Kong.

Secretary Blinken spoke on Friday with Yang Jiechi, the top foreign affairs official of the Chinese Communist Party, to discuss a series of thorny issues facing the two major powers such as North Korea. nuclear program, said a State Department spokesman.

Blinken’s comments to Yang follow the publication on June 10 of an Amnesty International report showing that Xinjiang has become a “Hellscape dystopian” where Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities find themselves systematically and organized by the State “mass internment and torture amounting to crimes against humanity”.

Blinken’s conversation with Yang comes even when the challenges posed by China arise discussions now in progress among the leaders of the Group of Seven Industrialized Democracies in the UK and attended by President Joe Biden.

China has cracked down on pro-democracy lawyers in Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under an agreed-upon principle of “One China, Two Systems” that should have allowed democratic freedoms to continue in Hong Kong Kong.

In addition to “the need for the United States and the PRC to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Blinken and Yang discussed other “common global challenges” including Iran, Myanmar and the climate crisis, he said. State Department spokesman Ned Price. in a statement.

Blinken called for more “cooperation and transparency” from Chinese authorities in the World Health Organization’s ongoing investigations into the origin of the COVID-19 virus.

On the call, Yang expressed to Blinken Beijing his concern that some people in the United States were spreading the “absurd story” of the coronavirus escaping from a laboratory in Wuhan, Chinese state media reported.

Beijing strongly opposes what Yang called “abominable actions” on the pandemic, which he said were used to slander China, state broadcaster CCTV reported, according to the Reuters news service.

The first U.S. diplomat called on Beijing to “cease its campaign of pressure against Taiwan and to peacefully resolve issues between the Straits,” Price said. Yang told Blinken that Washington should deal with issues related to Taiwan “carefully and adequately,” CCTV said.

Washington will work with Beijing to restore ties “back on track,” Yang said, according to CCTV.

The United States and China have been engaged in an increasingly tense diplomatic exchange since Blinken and Yang met. face to face in Alaska of March. At the time, the United States expressed “deep concerns” over China’s actions, and China rejected it as “strongly opposed to US interference in China’s internal affairs.”

Bonnie Glaser, Asia expert for the German Marshall Fund’s think tank, told Reuters that although the agenda included potential areas for cooperation, the conversation seemed to be dominated by controversial issues.

She said Yang’s call for Washington to work with Beijing to restore ties “back on track” indicated that China was still blaming the US for the problems of the relationship.

Despite diplomatic tensions, Didi Chuxing, China’s largest company, on Thursday unveiled a first public offering of stocks on U.S. financial markets in what is expected to be the world’s largest IPO this year, he said. Reuters.

The company is backed by Asia’s largest technology investment firms – SoftBank, Alibaba and Tencent. Sources familiar with the deal told Reuters it could raise about $ 10 billion and seek an estimate close to $ 100 billion.

At this valuation, Didi’s listing would be the largest offering of Chinese shares in the United States since Alibaba raised $ 25 billion in 2014.

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