U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a phone call on Friday the United States will stand up for human rights and democratic values in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, according to the State Department.
The US State Department said that Blinken pressured China to condemn the military coup in Myanmar, and reaffirmed that Washington will work with allies to hold China accountable for efforts to threaten stability of Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait.
Earlier, before taking office officially, Blinken considered that China poses the greatest challenge to the United States more than any other country.
He said that the United States should “start the rapprochement with China from the principle of strength, not the principle of weakness,” noting that part of that strength is in working with allies and participating with international institutions.
The US State Department said at the beginning of this week that it was “very disturbed” by media reports of rape and torture of women in Chinese camps for the Muslim minority of Uyghurs.
The relationship between the world’s two biggest economies hit its lowest point in decades during the presidency of Donald Trump, and Chinese officials have expressed cautious optimism that it would improve under the administration of Joe Biden.