Mar 18, 2021 06:54 PM

China Won’t Back Down on ‘Core Interests,’ Ambassador Warns U.S.

What’s new: Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S., told Washington to “give up illusions” of China compromising on any issues in the country’s “core interests,” including in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, according to an interview transcript released Thursday by the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

Cui’s warning came ahead of the first in-person meeting scheduled to take place in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday between Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and their American counterparts of the new U.S. government, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

“If people assume that applying pressure unilaterally or closing ranks with allies will make China bow, if they assume that China will say yes to any unilateral demands from any side just for some ‘outcomes’ from the dialogue, I advise them to give up such illusions. These assumptions will only lead to a dead end,” Cui said.

The background: Both Beijing and Washington signaled tough stances ahead of the Alaska meeting as the two sides attempt to recalibrate their tense relationship.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s tightening grip over the semi-autonomous region. Foreign financial institutions that deal with the sanctioned officials will now be subject to U.S. punishment.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the U.S. of “willfully interfering in other countries internal affairs in the name of democracy and human rights.” The ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian urged the U.S. to “view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational manner, reject the Cold-War and zero-sum game mentality, respect China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs.”

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua ( and editor Marcus Ryder (

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