By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times
NEW DELHI, India, 26 July 2021
United States Deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi talked past each other with US raising all the red flag issues with China.
Wendy Sherman, according to State Department spokesperson, raised the issue of genocide in Xinjiang, human right abuse in Tibet and Beijing’s anti-democratic crackdown in Hong Kong.
Sherman conveyed Washington’s concerns about People Republic of China’s unwillingness to cooperate with the World Health Organization (WHO) on a second phase investigation of the origins of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The US senior official conveyed her concerns over Covid-19 origin at a time when US intelligence agencies are expected to come up with a report into the origins of the pandemic and the role of Wuhan Institute of Virology in spreading the disease.
While Sherman visited China, US secretary of state is coming to India on Tuesday evening to deepen bilateral ties with New Delhi. This includes stabilisation of Afghanistan, Chinese aggression in Indo-Pacific, counter-terrorism and cementing of defence cooperation.
“The Deputy Secretary also raised the cases of American and Canadian citizens detained in the PRC (People’s Republic of China) or under exit bans and reminded PRC officials that people are not bargaining chips,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said about the talks which were held in Tianjin, a city some 100km from capital Beijing, adding that the discussions were “frank and open”.
The number 2 US diplomat also affirmed the importance of cooperation in areas of global interest, such as the climate crisis, counter-narcotics, non-proliferation, and regional concerns including around the Korean peninsula, Iran, Afghanistan, and Burma, the State Department said.
The two leaders also discussed ways to set terms for responsible management of the US-China relationship, it added.
Sherman was in China on a two-day visit, during which she also met key officials. She expressed the United States’ sincere condolences for the lives lost in the devastating floods in Henan province this week.