US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke by phone with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi. Secretary Blinken and Director Yang discussed the United States’ comprehensive DPRK policy review, focusing on the need for the United States and the PRC to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Secretary Blinken and Director Yang continued discussions on shared global challenges, including Iran, Burma, and the climate crisis. Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary stressed the importance of cooperation and transparency regarding the origin of the virus, including the need for WHO Phase 2 expert-led studies in China. The Secretary underscored U.S. concern over the deterioration of democratic norms in Hong Kong and the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. He also called on Beijing to cease its pressure campaign against Taiwan and peacefully resolve cross-Strait issues. The Secretary raised several cases of U.S. and Canadian citizens subject to arbitrary detention and exit bans in China and called for the immediate release of those wrongfully detained.
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