On Friday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had a telephonic conversation with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi.

Both of them continued their discussions on shared global challenges, which included Iran, Burma, and the climate crisis. While Blinken addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, he stressed the importance of cooperation and transparency in regard to the origin of the virus which includes the need for WHO Phase 2 expert-led studies in China.

Blinken called on for ceasing Beijing’s pressure campaign against Taiwan and peacefully resolving cross-Strait issues. Several cases of U.S. and Canadian citizens subject to arbitrary detention and exit bans in China were raised by the Secretary. He called for the immediate release of wrongfully held detainees.

The leaders discussed the comprehensive US DPRK policy review that focused on the need of the US and the PRC to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Secretary highlighted U.S. concerns over the deteriorating of democratic norms in Hong Kong and the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against mostly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.

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