Commenting on the high-level US-China meeting on March 18 and which the US insists is only a dialogue with no promise of future meetings, Xinhua (March 17) said "For China and the United States, whose relations have plunged to the lowest point since their establishment of diplomatic relations in the 1970s, the arrival of the long-awaited official dialogue between high-ranking diplomats undoubtedly sends a positive signal. The time is right to seek to revive China-U.S. relations from their historic low." It added, "The vision and courage of political ice-breaking" are needed "to ensure one of the world's most important bilateral relationships, which now stands at a new crossroads, can return to the right track at an early date. The Chinese side has been reiterating that China and the United States should build strategic trust, avoid strategic miscalculation and manage differences." It stressed that  "The two countries need to return to normal engagement at all levels. That is the best way to reduce strategic miscalculation and doubts." Stating that "The choice China and the United States make today will have a huge impact on the future of humanity",  it called on the U.S. government to "also be more pragmatic" and shed its "its deep-rooted prejudices against China".  Xinhua also said "They should also refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs. China's position on its own internal affairs related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong has been consistent and clear. It will unwaveringly defend its sovereignty, security and development interests." Saying that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step" Xinhua hoped that the Alaska dialogue could be this very step. Separately, China's Foreign Ministry stated “The U.S. side proposed to hold this high-level strategic dialogue, which we think is meaningful. We hope that the two sides can have a candid dialogue on issues of mutual concern.”

(Comment: Interesting is that while China has adopted a seemingly uncompromising stand, it has signalled it is keen to restore ties to their formal level. Xinhua and the Global Times have also insisted on referring to the meeting as a "high-level strategic dialogue".

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