But the outbursts likely also signaled Beijing’s frustration that the days of a more dovish U.S. approach to China are gone and not coming back anytime soon. “China had this illusion that the Biden administration would completely abandon the Trump administration’s China policy,” said Miles Yu, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former adviser on China to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “They didn’t see that in a major way, and that’s why they blew up [in Alaska]. It’s an act of desperation.”
The Biden administration almost certainly knew that the Chinese delegation would approach Anchorage with the goal of making a scene. Senior U.S. officials have asserted that one of the purposes of the talks for Washington was to ensure that Beijing understood that the Biden administration’s public comments aligned with its genuine perspective, and that it would not be backing down without significant Chinese concessions on key issues. Only time will tell if conveying this message was worth lending the CCP so large a megaphone to evangelize for the twisted worldview according to which a vicious Leninist party-state is essential to the future of global democracy, peace, and development.