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U.S. And China Will Have Their First AI Discussions Within "Weeks" Despite The Current TikTok Impasse

U.S. And China Will Have Their First AI Discussions Within "Weeks" Despite The Current TikTok Impasse
The first high-level AI talks between the United States and China will take place in the "coming weeks," according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who gave no information on the whereabouts of TikTok, the dominant Chinese social media platform.
Blinken announced that the United States and China had reached an agreement to hold the first intergovernmental conversation on artificial intelligence (AI) in order to address safety and risk issues related to this new technology, during extensive discussions with Chinese officials in Beijing.
"We decided earlier today to have our first US-PRC artificial intelligence talks in the upcoming weeks, to discuss the risks and safety issues related to advanced AI and how best to address them," Blinken stated at a news briefing.
Beijing's access to high-end technology has been restricted by the United States, and the social media app TikTok may soon be banned if its Chinese parent company ByteDance doesn't sell it.
During the news conference, Blinken stated that TikTok "did not come up" in the conversation.
The AI discussions will take place, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement that also included a five-point agreement between Washington and Beijing.
According to a Google translation, the foreign ministry stated that more measures to "stabilise and develop" U.S.-China ties, increase cultural exchanges, and maintain conversations on "international and regional hotspot issues" were also included in the consensus.
According to Blinken, China has contributed positively to the resolution of international crises by, for example, deterring Iran and its allies from intensifying the war in the Middle East and by limiting Russia's attack on Ukraine.
He cited a speech made by Chinese President Xi Jinping in March 2023 in which he forewarned Russia against using nuclear weapons on Ukraine as evidence that his country can act positively towards both Russia and Ukraine.
However, Blinken went on, he had restated Washington's "serious concerns" over China's alleged backing of Moscow's military might, especially through goods that bolster its defence industrial base.
Beijing has refuted claims that it is providing military support to Russia, stating that commerce with Moscow is "normal economic cooperation."
In the midst of rumours that Washington is crafting penalties to shut down some Chinese banks believed to be supporting such activity, Blinken stated that no more action has been taken against Beijing.
“Russia would struggle to sustain its assault on Ukraine without China’s help,” he said. “I was extremely clear about our concerns. We’ll have to see what actions follow from that.”
Notwithstanding continued trade tensions and worries over national security, Washington and Beijing are working to mend strained bilateral relations as the U.S. secretary of state travels to China.
China is allegedly oversupplying foreign markets with cheap goods, especially environmentally friendly products like electric cars, which the United States and its friends in the West claim endangers local industry.
Beijing, on the other hand, refutes the allegations. Foreign Minister Wang Yi characterises China's industrial output as commensurate with its "legitimate development rights," and President Xi stated in a statement on Friday that China's economic progress must be seen "in a positive light."
On Friday, Blinken reiterated the accusations and threatened to use force if needed to stop the trade flows.
Early this month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a warning that Washington will take measures against Chinese companies that are shown to be abusing fair trade standards; Brussels mostly agreed with her position.
“China alone is producing more than 100% of global demand” for green products, Blinken said. “It’s flooding markets ... President [Joe] Biden will not let this happen on his watch.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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