US-China engage in undiplomatic sparring match

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 19, 2021, 11:10 PM(IST)

US President Joe Biden (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US President Biden's comments sparked the biggest crisis between Russia and the United States in years, with Moscow recalling its ambassador for consultations and warning that ties were on the brink of outright 'collapse'

The first high-level US-China meeting of the Biden administration got off to a fiery start on Thursday in Achorage with both sides levelling sharp rebukes of the others' policies in a rare public display that underscored the level of bilateral tension.

The run-up to the talks in Anchorage, Alaska, which followed visits by US officials to allies Japan and South Korea, was marked by a flurry of moves by Washington that showed it was taking a tough stance, and by a blunt talk from Beijing.

Also read| Sensed strong smell of gunpowder in US talks, says China

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi took aim at each other's country's policies on Thursday in their meeting in Anchorage.

Jiechi said ''Well, I think we thought too well of the United States. We thought the U.S. side would follow the necessary diplomatic protocols. So for China, it was necessary that we make our position clear.''

''Let me say here, that in front of the Chinese side the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.''

Also read| 'Abandon Cold War mentality': US, Chinese officials clash during Alaska talks

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday mocked Joe Biden for calling him a "killer", saying "it takes one to know one", as ties between Moscow and Washington sank to new lows.

US President Biden's comments sparked the biggest crisis between Russia and the United States in years, with Moscow recalling its ambassador for consultations and warning that ties were on the brink of outright "collapse".

But speaking during an event marking seven years since Russia's annexation of Crimea, Putin ruled out severing ties with the United States altogether and lobbed a jab at the 78-year-old US leader.

"We always see in another person our own qualities and think that he is the same as us," Putin said, referring to Biden's "killer" comment.

"It takes one to know one," Putin added, citing a saying from his Soviet-era childhood in Saint Petersburg. 

It is not unprecedented for world leaders to insult and mock each other. 

Richard Nixon once dubbed Canada's Pierre Trudeau as a ''pompous egghead''. While George W. Bush called  North Korea's Kim jong-il a ''pygmy.''

Similarly, Hugo Chavez called Barack Obama a ''poor ignoramus'' and French leader Nicolas Sarkozy called Benjamin Netanyahu a ''liar.''

Former US President Donald Trump mocked Biden by saying that ''he was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama's [ass]."

He also called Justin Trudeau ''two-faced,'' labelled Syria's president Bashar-al-Assad an 'animal', and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a 'little rocket man', that is a 'dotard'.

Even though Trump has left office but his style of politics seems to have permeated global diplomacy and the world seems to have turned into one big reality-tv show.

Read in App