U.S. accuses Chinese of grandstanding, violating protocol after fiery exchanges

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Senior Chinese officials meeting face-to-face with counterparts from the Biden administration for the first time on Thursday seem to have come intent on grandstanding and violating protocol, a senior U.S. official said, after fiery opening exchanges in talks in Alaska.

The official told reporters that in advance of the talks, the two sides had agreed to short, two-minute public opening statements, but these ended up lasting more than an hour.

“The Chinese delegation ... seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance. They made that clear by promptly violating protocol,” said the official, who did not want to be identified by name.

The leader of the Chinese delegation, Beijing’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, in turn accused the United States of not respecting diplomatic protocol by announcing sanctions against Chinese officials ahead of the meeting.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chris Reese