U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, standing beside Sullivan, said he was not surprised that the United States got a "defensive response" from China after it raised its concerns about Chinese human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as cyberattacks and pressure on Taiwan.
"On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights", Yang added.
"China will not accept unwarranted accusations from the USA side", he said, adding that recent developments had plunged relations "into a period of unprecedented difficulty" that "has damaged the interests of our two peoples".
Washington says Blinken's Asia tour before the meeting with Chinese officials, as well as U.S. outreach to Europe, India and other partners, shows how the United States has strengthened its hand to confront China since Biden took office in January.
Many netizens on China's social media said Chinese officials were doing a good job in Alaska, and that the United States side had shown zero sincerity.
Blinken said Washington hoped to see China use its influence with North Korea to persuade it to give up its nuclear weapons.
China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi said the discussions were "direct, frank, and constructive".
China-U.S. relations have encountered unprecedented difficulties, which have damaged the interests of the two peoples, Wang said, adding that China is willing to work together with the U.S.to exchange views based on mutual respect, and to shoulder responsibilities.
"We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition", he said.
The meeting underscored the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, which the Biden administration has singled out as the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open worldwide system.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also took part in the talks, said that China made it clear that sovereignty is a matter of principle and told the USA not to underestimate China's determination to defend it.
China urges the USA side to fully abandon the hegemonic practice of willfully interfering in China's internal affairs. "It is time for it to change", Wang said.
In response, Blinken said: A hallmark of our leadership, of our engagement in the world, is our alliances and our partnerships that have been built on a totally voluntary basis.
But the opening day was defined by more hostile rhetoric, with Yang telling his counterpart that Washington "does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength".
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"So we don't think one should be so testy as to accuse some other country of coercion". I think history and the global community will come to their own conclusions, Yang said.
At the conclusion of the talks, both sides made it clear that the U.S. and China remain far apart on major issues. Blinken also insisted on issuing a rebuttal while the media was still present in the room.
Reacting to the acrimonious talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that American officials at the Alaska meetings provoked Chinese officials into making a solemn response after U.S. officials made groundless attacks against Beijing's foreign and domestic policies.
"It was the U.S. side that ... provoked the dispute in the first place, so the two sides had a strong smell of gunpowder and drama from the beginning in the opening remarks".
On the same day, the Chinese delegation also made a stern response to the U.S.'s "unreasonable accusations", saying that the USA side's opening speeches overran their scheduled time which was not in line with diplomatic protocol.