in an interview last year, citing the league in Spain where he once played. “I’m not telling lies.”

Suning’s soccer bets were badly timed. The Chinese government began to worry that big conglomerates were borrowing too heavily, threatening the country’s financial system. One year after the Inter Milan deal, Chinese state media criticized Suning for its “irrational” acquisition.

Then the pandemic hit. Even as Inter Milan won on the field, it lost gate receipts from its San Siro stadium, one of the largest in Europe. Some sponsors walked away because their own financial pressures. The club lost about $120 million last year, one of the biggest losses reported by a European soccer club.

Back in China, Suning was slammed by e-commerce as well as the coronavirus. Its troubles accelerated in the autumn when it chose not to demand repayment of a $3 billion investment in Evergrande, a property developer and China’s most indebted company.

Suning’s burden is set to get heavier. This year, it must make $1.2 billion in bond payments. The company declined to comment.

Suning began to take drastic steps. Last year it abandoned its broadcasting deal with the Premier League.

On Twitter, Eder said the comments had been taken from a private, online chat without his permission. His agent did not respond to requests for comment.

To save itself, Suning took a step that could complicate Inter Milan’s fortunes. On March 1, it sold $2.3 billion worth of its shares to affiliates of the government of the Chinese city of Shenzhen. The deal gave Chinese authorities a say in Inter Milan’s fate.

Greater financial pressure looms for Inter Milan. It must pay out a $360 million bond next year. A minority investor in Hong Kong, Lion Rock Capital, which acquired a 31 percent stake in Inter in 2019, could exercise an option that would require Suning to buy its stake for as much as $215 million, according to one of the people close to the club.

Inter Milan officials are looking for financing, a new partner or a sale of the team at a valuation of about $1.1 billion, the person said.

The club until recently was in exclusive talks with BC Partners, the British private equity firm, but they were unable to agree on price, said people with knowledge of the talks.

Without fresh capital, Inter Milan could lose players. If it can’t pay salaries or transfer fees for departing players, European soccer rules say it could be banished from top competitions.

“We are concerned but we are not frightened yet about this situation — we are just waiting for the news,” said Manuel Corti, a member of an Inter Milan supporters club based in London.

“Being Inter fans,” he said, “we are never sure of anything until the last minute.”

Alexandra Stevenson reported from Hong Kong, and Tariq Panja from London. Cao Li contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

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China asks more visa applicants to take Chinese vaccines.

Chinese embassies in a rapidly growing number of countries, including the United States, have begun requiring that foreigners entering China must first be fully inoculated with a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine if they want to avoid extensive paperwork requirements.

Complying with the rule will be difficult for people applying for Chinese visas in places that are not offering vaccines produced in China. No Chinese-made vaccine has been approved in the United States or most of Europe.

Many regulators outside China have been wary of vaccines made by companies in China, notably Sinovac and Sinopharm. The companies have released relatively little data from Phase 3 trials to allow independent assessments of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced similar rules for foreigners wanting to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong. It said on Saturday that if they received a Chinese-made vaccine they would not need to meet other requirements, including a negative nucleic acid test, detailed health and travel records, and a personal invitation from a Chinese provincial government agency.

Some foreigners who live and work in the Chinese mainland but left early in the pandemic have been living in limbo for a year or more in Hong Kong, which has authorized the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines, and elsewhere.

By Tuesday morning, Chinese embassies had issued identical rules in Britain, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam and at least a dozen other countries.

The Chinese stance puts pressure on other countries to give regulatory approval to China’s vaccines. Beijing has not allowed vaccines developed in other countries to be produced or administered in China.

Thousands of businesspeople and students have been seeking visas to resume their work or studies in China. The country’s borders have been among the most tightly closed in the world to prevent the coronavirus from re-entering the country after being largely stamped out. Business leaders say the new vaccine recommendation adds to the hurdles.

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China Targets Hong Kong Wealth Gap, Housing Woes

After quashing opposition groups in Hong Kong, China’s leaders plan to target the city’s yawning wealth gap and lack of affordable housing that Beijing blames for fueling social unrest.

Senior officials are discussing ways to broaden the city’s tax structure and increase land supply in an effort to mitigate inequality and high living costs in one of the world’s most expensive cities, according to people familiar with the discussions. The deliberations could lead to far-reaching overhauls of Hong Kong’s economic and social-welfare systems, although specific proposals haven’t been put forward, the people said.

Changes to Hong Kong’s low-tax system would raise revenue for more social spending, but one challenge is how to do so without undermining the city’s attractiveness as a financial and business hub. Land-policy reforms can help improve access to cheaper homes, although officials must overcome the entrenched influence of local property tycoons whom Beijing regards as too passive in their support of government goals.

For Beijing, efforts to curb dissent in Hong Kong over the past year—from rounding up opposition figures on national-security charges to a planned revamp of the city’s electoral system—are meant to pave the way for social and economic overhauls. The political crackdown has drawn flak mainly from Western governments, which accused China of violating its pledges to allow Hong Kong’s governance to remain semiautonomous until at least 2047.

What Beijing ultimately wants to address in Hong Kong is “not the politics, but the deep-seated issues” including the lack of affordable housing and the city’s “deeply polarizing income gaps,” said Bernard Chan, a member of China’s national legislature and Hong Kong’s cabinet.

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China Says China-Made Vaccines Will Help Get You Into China

BEIJING — China raised the stakes in the international vaccine competition on Saturday, saying that foreigners wishing to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong will face fewer paperwork requirements if they are inoculated with Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines.

The policy announcement, which covers foreigners applying for visas in the Chinese territory, comes a day after the United States, India, Japan and Australia announced plans to provide vaccines more widely to other countries. The four so-called Quad powers promised to help finance the production in India of at least a billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of next year.

China is trying to increase the international appeal of its shots, even as scientists and foreign governments urge Chinese vaccine makers to be more transparent with their clinical trial data. Guo Weimin, a Chinese government spokesman, said that China had sent vaccines to 69 countries by the end of February and begun commercial exports to 28 countries.

Chinese state media organizations have also begun a misinformation campaign that questions the safety of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots and promotes Chinese vaccines as better alternatives.

introduced an international electronic passport for its citizens that shows whether a traveler has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. But it was not immediately clear how much of a difference Saturday’s policy announcement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry would make for foreigners living in Hong Kong, given that China has been issuing almost no visas lately.

In addition, Hong Kong’s borders have been closed to nonresidents for nearly a year. So the new policy will not help many foreigners in other countries who want to return to mainland China for work or family reasons.

The Hong Kong government allows residents to choose between the Sinovac vaccine from mainland China and a version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it imported from Germany. The announcement on Saturday did not specify whether people in Hong Kong who have already received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot would need to be vaccinated again with the Sinovac product.

Alan Beebe, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that border restrictions had become the biggest concern for multinationals doing business in the country, and he questioned the need for restricting entry based on which vaccine was chosen by travelers.

“It’s not clear to us,” he said, “what is the difference between having an imported vaccine and one that is produced in China.”

Liu Yicontributed research.

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China’s Dr. Fauci, Dr. Zhang Wenhong, Urges Restraint in Fighting Covid-19

China has imposed some of the toughest lockdowns in the world to stop Covid-19. One city sealed apartment doors, leaving residents with dwindling food and medicine. One village tied a local to a tree after he left home to buy cigarettes. Beijing forced people to leave their pets behind when they went into quarantine.

Few officials spoke up against the excesses, given the central government’s obsession with its anti-coronavirus campaign. That hasn’t stopped Dr. Zhang Wenhong.

Dr. Zhang, an infectious-disease specialist and perhaps China’s most trusted voice on Covid-19, has spoken out publicly against excessive lockdowns, though he hasn’t criticized individual cities. Fighting the pandemic, he likes to say, is like “catching mice in a china shop.”

“We hope that our pandemic prevention measures won’t affect public life too much,” Dr. Zhang wrote on Jan. 24, after a second wave of infections prompted tough clampdowns.

video a few days later, “life would be too hard.”

Dr. Zhang may be China’s closest analogue to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the American infectious-disease specialist who became the public face of stopping the coronavirus amid the chaos of the Trump administration. A consummate technocrat, Dr. Zhang comes across as neither political nor ideological. Yet, by offering his expert opinions straight, he pushes back against the authoritarian instinct in a system that often overreacts with draconian measures.

A top academic at Fudan University in Shanghai and a member of the Communist Party, Dr. Zhang led Shanghai’s expert panel on Covid-19, giving him considerable authority over the city’s response.

propaganda, conspiracy theories and crude nationalism.

viewed more than 860 million times on his department’s official WeChat account alone.

Maintaining a high profile in China often requires discretion. Late last year, Jack Ma, the technology billionaire, publicly criticized regulators. The authorities quickly swooped down on his business empire.

Dr. Zhang doesn’t challenge the government, but neither does he always toe the official line. Late last year, some Chinese officials pointed to findings that the virus had been found on the packaging of imported food, suggesting that the coronavirus may have been brought to China from overseas. Dr. Zhang has told his audience not to worry about it: “The chance of catching the virus from imported goods,” he said, “is lower than dying in a plane crash.”

“I’m not going to hide the information because I’m worried that I could say something wrong and cause some controversies,” he said over the summer. “We always share what we know.”

responded that protein helps build the immune system.

Still, he has kept a high profile without drawing major ire from the government or sustained criticism from the nationalists. Some of that stems from China’s pride in quickly containing the coronavirus. Dr. Zhang, who played a role in that, has won a number of awards from official groups.

In watching his speeches, I found another key to his sustained appeal. In his impromptu speech at a national teaching award ceremony in September, he said the essence of education is acknowledging human dignity. Mr. Zhang appeals to the humanity of his audience and, by admitting his own foibles, shows the authorities and the public that he is merely human, too.

In one speech, he mentioned that some victims of avian flu had caught it from taking care of their infected loved ones, and that female patients were more likely to infect their doting mothers than their absent husbands. “At that moment,” he told the audience, “I lost faith in romantic love.”

said, “I would have worked on my deltoid.”

interview last June, a reporter asked him whether anybody had reminded him to be mindful of his status as an expert and the head of an expert government panel.

“People are smart,” he responded. “They know whether you’re telling them truth or lies.”

When he gets public accolades, he often uses the occasion to highlight his causes, like more funding for infectious-disease research and for increasing the public awareness of tuberculosis and hepatitis B, two of the most common infectious diseases in China.

He also talks about people who deserved more attention, like the women among the pandemic responders whose role has often taken a back seat to the men’s in the media. “Men are on camera more,” he said at a forum on the subject, “but women did more work.”

Then he turned to the female medical workers, and bowed.

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China’s Dr. Fauci Urges Restraint in Fighting Covid-19

China has imposed some of the toughest lockdowns in the world to stop Covid-19. One city sealed apartment doors, leaving residents with dwindling food and medicine. One village tied a local to a tree after he left home to buy cigarettes. Beijing forced people to leave their pets behind when they went into quarantine.

Few officials spoke up against the excesses, given the central government’s obsession with its anti-coronavirus campaign. That hasn’t stopped Dr. Zhang Wenhong.

Dr. Zhang, an infectious-disease specialist and perhaps China’s most trusted voice on Covid-19, has spoken out publicly against excessive lockdowns, though he hasn’t criticized individual cities. Fighting the pandemic, he likes to say, is like “catching mice in a china shop.”

“We hope that our pandemic prevention measures won’t affect public life too much,” Dr. Zhang wrote on Jan. 24, after a second wave of infections prompted tough clampdowns.

video a few days later, “life would be too hard.”

Dr. Zhang may be China’s closest analogue to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the American infectious-disease specialist who became the public face of stopping the coronavirus amid the chaos of the Trump administration. A consummate technocrat, Dr. Zhang comes across as neither political nor ideological. Yet, by offering his expert opinions straight, he pushes back against the authoritarian instinct in a system that often overreacts with draconian measures.

A top academic at Fudan University in Shanghai and a member of the Communist Party, Dr. Zhang led Shanghai’s expert panel on Covid-19, giving him considerable authority over the city’s response.

propaganda, conspiracy theories and crude nationalism.

viewed more than 860 million times on his department’s official WeChat account alone.

Maintaining a high profile in China often requires discretion. Late last year, Jack Ma, the technology billionaire, publicly criticized regulators. The authorities quickly swooped down on his business empire.

Dr. Zhang doesn’t challenge the government, but neither does he always toe the official line. Late last year, some Chinese officials pointed to findings that the virus had been found on the packaging of imported food, suggesting that the coronavirus may have been brought to China from overseas. Dr. Zhang has told his audience not to worry about it: “The chance of catching the virus from imported goods,” he said, “is lower than dying in a plane crash.”

“I’m not going to hide the information because I’m worried that I could say something wrong and cause some controversies,” he said over the summer. “We always share what we know.”

responded that protein helps build the immune system.

Still, he has kept a high profile without drawing major ire from the government or sustained criticism from the nationalists. Some of that stems from China’s pride in quickly containing the coronavirus. Dr. Zhang, who played a role in that, has won a number of awards from official groups.

In watching his speeches, I found another key to his sustained appeal. In his impromptu speech at a national teaching award ceremony in September, he said the essence of education is acknowledging human dignity. Mr. Zhang appeals to the humanity of his audience and, by admitting his own foibles, shows the authorities and the public that he is merely human, too.

In one speech, he mentioned that some victims of avian flu had caught it from taking care of their infected loved ones, and that female patients were more likely to infect their doting mothers than their absent husbands. “At that moment,” he told the audience, “I lost faith in romantic love.”

said, “I would have worked on my deltoid.”

interview last June, a reporter asked him whether anybody had reminded him to be mindful of his status as an expert and the head of an expert government panel.

“People are smart,” he responded. “They know whether you’re telling them truth or lies.”

When he gets public accolades, he often uses the occasion to highlight his causes, like more funding for infectious-disease research and for increasing the public awareness of tuberculosis and hepatitis B, two of the most common infectious diseases in China.

He also talks about people who deserved more attention, like the women among the pandemic responders whose role has often taken a back seat to the men’s in the media. “Men are on camera more,” he said at a forum on the subject, “but women did more work.”

Then he turned to the female medical workers, and bowed.

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China Turns to Elon Musk as Technology Dreams Sour

China is having its techlash moment.

The country’s internet giants, once celebrated as engines of economic vitality, are now scorned for exploiting user data, abusing workers and squelching innovation. Jack Ma, co-founder of the e-commerce titan Alibaba, is a fallen idol, with his companies under government scrutiny for the ways they have secured their grip over the world’s second-largest economy.

But there is one tech figure who has managed to keep the Chinese public in his thrall, whose mix of impish bomb-throwing and captain-of-industry bravado seems tailor-made for this time of dashed dreams and disillusionment: Elon Musk.

“He can fight the establishment and become the richest man on earth — and avoid getting beaten down in the process,” said Jane Zhang, the founder and chief executive of ShellPay, a blockchain company in Shanghai. “He’s everybody’s hope.”

fiery blast — China cannot get enough of Mr. Musk. Tesla’s electric cars are big sellers in the country, and the government’s growing space ambitions have spawned a community of fans who track SpaceX’s every launch.

trailblazer or a fraud, and examining everything from his upbringing to his taste in Beijing hot pot joints. Start-up founders swear by his belief in “first-principles thinking,” which looks for solutions by examining problems at their most fundamental level. A stack of books by Chinese authors promises to reveal the secrets of the “Silicon Valley Iron Man,” which is the nickname that seems to have stuck in China, not King of Mars or Rocket Man.

In a long thread about Mr. Musk on the question-and-answer site Zhihu, a user named Moonshake writes that most people start out full of hope but gradually accept the “mediocrity” that is their fate.

“Only a superman like Musk can move past the endless mediocrity and toward the infinite, to see the magnificence of the universe,” Moonshake writes.

Another user in the same thread says he named his son Elon to express his admiration. The user did not reply to a message seeking further comment.

claimed credit. (Mr. Musk’s reaction to the news — “Well, back to work …” — was liked 22,000 times on the Chinese social platform Weibo.)

Later that month, as Mr. Musk endorsed the run-up in GameStop shares, many in China were riveted, drawn to the drama by the same distrust of big financial institutions.

“Occupy Wall Street could never be copied in China,” said Suji Yan, an entrepreneur and investor in Shanghai. To do that, “you’d have go on the streets,” he said. Buying protest stocks is safer.

embrace of Tesla — and vice versa — when the United States and China have never trusted each other’s high-tech companies less.

marveled at the way Mr. Musk handled the country’s hard-nosed authorities. They have been more critical of the ways he has sometimes treated his own workers. He lashed out last year at California health officials who demanded that a Tesla factory there remain closed out of coronavirus concerns. The company has also come under scrutiny for workplace injuries and racial discrimination.

“He is a real dreamer and creator, yet he is also a coldblooded, self-absorbed megalomaniac,” Hong Bo, a longtime tech commentator in China who writes under the name Keso, said of Mr. Musk. “I admire his courage in breaking with outdated conventions, and yet I intensely dislike his trampling on the bottom lines of humanity.”

Mr. Musk and Tesla did not respond to emails requesting comment.

The frustration with Big Tech is part of a wider malaise in China. For many young people, decades of breakneck economic growth seem to have resulted in only fiercer competition for opportunities, less stability and less say over the direction of their lives.

On the Chinese internet, the term that has captured the mood is “involution,” previously used by anthropologists to describe agrarian societies that grew in size or complexity without becoming more advanced or productive.

The feeling among young Chinese people that they are fighting harder for a slimmer chance at material gain is leading them to hope to “reorganize life in a different way,” said Biao Xiang, who studies social change in China and is director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany.

later apologized for “excessive self-promotion.” Or Jia Yueting, who set out to best Apple in smartphones and became buried in debt. Even Mr. Ma of Alibaba appears to have helped catalyze the government’s crackdown against him by speaking a little too frankly at an event about his annoyance with regulators.

shared a stage at a Shanghai tech conference in 2019. There may never have been a more mismatched pair. Mr. Ma was earnest and engaged, at ease in the role of conference grandee. Mr. Musk was fidgety and jokey. The two did a great deal of talking right past each other. Mr. Ma said the answer to superintelligent machines was better education for humans. At this, Mr. Musk merely laughed.

In a compilation of awkward moments from the event posted on the video site Bilibili, the comments are brutal, mostly to Mr. Ma.

“This is the person who in China was once looked up to as a god,” one person wrote. “In the presence of a real master, he is like a performing monkey.”

Alibaba declined to comment.

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How China Plans to Control Hong Kong’s Elections and Elevate ‘Patriots’

BEIJING — China approved on Thursday a drastic overhaul of election rules for Hong Kong that would most likely bar many pro-democracy politicians from competing in elections, cementing Beijing’s grip over the territory.

The National People’s Congress, China’s Communist Party-controlled legislature, voted almost unanimously to give pro-Beijing loyalists more power to choose Hong Kong’s local leader, as well as members of its legislature. The decision builds on a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, imposed last year after months of protests, that the authorities have used to quash opposition in the former British colony.

Premier Li Keqiang said at his annual news conference that the new legislation was needed to ensure that “patriots” run the territory. But critics contend that the new election system will wipe out the already limited democracy that Hong Kong enjoyed after its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

Here is what we know about the changes.

Until now, Hong Kong’s chief executive has been selected by a 1,200-member Election Committee dominated by Beijing’s allies. This has allowed China to pick leaders it trusts.

But a groundswell of support for the territory’s democracy movement during massive protests in 2019 raised the possibility that the opposition could amass a majority of votes to stymie Beijing’s choice.

Beijing plans to add 300 more spots on the committee, which could allow more seats to go to its allies. The congress also imposed a new rule that would most likely prevent democrats from getting on the Election Committee’s ballot. To be nominated, a candidate will now require at least some support from each of the five main groups on the committee. Beijing will now have the chance to form one group entirely from its loyalists, which would block pro-democracy nominees.

Such moves are likely to deprive democracy supporters of much say when the committee votes early next year to select Hong Kong’s leader. The current chief executive, Carrie Lam, is eligible to run for re-election but has not yet said whether she will do so.

Beijing will also empower the Election Committee to directly appoint some members of Hong Kong’s legislature. To many, this is a regression, as the committee lost the authority to appoint lawmakers several years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty from British rule.

“I think overall this is an effective, fast, hard-line kind of reverse democratization package,” said Sonny Lo, a political analyst based in Hong Kong. “The pro-democracy forces, even if they can win all the directly elected seats, they will be destined to be a permanent minority.”

Half the seats in the legislature are currently chosen by direct elections and half by so-called functional constituencies: various professions, business groups and other special interests. Until recently, the democrats had held around two dozen seats, and often used their presence to protest China’s encroachment on the territory’s autonomy and filibuster some local government measures.

Mrs. Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said the changes would prevent dissenting politicians from disrupting the legislature, known as LegCo.

“We will be able to resolve the problem of the LegCo making everything political in recent years and effectively deal with the reckless moves or internal rift that have torn Hong Kong apart,” she said.

Beijing ordered an expansion of the legislature, to 90 seats from 70. It did not say how many of those seats would be directly appointed by the election committee.

The congress also said the Hong Kong government would establish a separate committee to vet candidates seeking to run for the legislature or chief executive. This process is designed to weed out anyone who might be considered disloyal to Beijing.

Even before the legislation takes force, the Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong has moved quickly to extinguish the opposition.

Many activists have been detained or arrested on charges tied to the national security law, including Joshua Wong; Martin Lee, known as the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong; and Benny Tai, a law scholar. Their voice has been significantly dimmed.

Pro-democracy activists warned that the election law changes would amount to a death knell for the territory’s limited voting rights.

Lo Kin-hei, the chairman of the Democratic Party and one of the few prominent opposition figures not in custody, called the electoral changes “a sad move for Hong Kong.”

“They should actually make the Legislative Council more responsive to the people’s voice, instead of suppressing the people’s voice, like what their proposal is now,” Mr. Lo said.

“I believe that in the future those legislative councilors will be less and less representative of the Hong Kong people and they will just be some loyalists who can do nothing and who cannot represent the Hong Kong people at all,” he said.

Last month, the authorities charged 47 people — many of them well-known democracy activists — with conspiracy to commit subversion.

Their crime in the eyes of the police was their role in holding a primary election intended to help identify pro-democracy candidates for legislative elections that were originally scheduled for last September. The government postponed those elections for a year, citing the pandemic, and has hinted that a further postponement might be needed while the new election law is drafted and implemented.

Keith Bradsher reported from Beijing, and Chris Buckley from Sydney, Australia. Austin Ramzy contributed reporting from Hong Kong. Liu Yi, Albee Zhang and Claire Fu contributed research.

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Blinken Will Meet Chinese Officials After Asia Tour Next Week

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, will meet next week with two senior Chinese government officials, the Biden administration’s first in-person diplomatic encounter with its chief foreign rival.

In a statement on Wednesday, a State Department spokesman said that Mr. Blinken and Mr. Sullivan would meet in Anchorage next Thursday with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, and its top diplomat, Yang Jiechi.

The meetings will follow visits next week by Mr. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to Japan and South Korea, two core U.S. allies that have fraught relations with China and that would expect to be consulted before an engagement like the one planned with Beijing.

“It was important to us that this administration’s first meeting with Chinese officials be held on American soil, and occur after we have met and consulted closely with partners and allies in both Asia and Europe,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

a speech by Mr. Blinken, as well as a new White House national security strategy document, identified China as the top nation-state threat to the United States.

In his speech, Mr. Blinken said managing the relationship with China would be “the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century” and called China the one country able “to seriously challenge the stable and open international system.”

Mr. Biden spoke to China’s leader, Xi Jinping, last month, warning him that he intended to challenge China’s “coercive and unfair economic practices” as well as its record on human rights and its crackdown on Hong Kong, according to a White House summary of the call. But Mr. Biden also said he hoped to cooperate with Mr. Xi on matters like the coronavirus, nuclear proliferation and climate change.

U.S. officials did not describe a specific agenda for the Anchorage meeting. Mr. Blinken said on Twitter that he looked forward to engaging the Chinese officials “on a range of issues, including those where we have deep disagreements.”

Mr. Blinken will stop in Alaska on the return leg of his Asia trip, his first foray out of Washington amid the coronavirus pandemic. Until now Mr. Blinken, to his frustration, has been conducting diplomacy exclusively by telephone and video. Mr. Blinken has been vaccinated, but officials have cited the risks for others accompanying him as a reason for his limited travel to date.

He will depart from Washington on Monday, with planned stops in Tokyo and Seoul before proceeding to Anchorage. Mr. Austin, who will travel on a separate plane, will depart from Seoul for meetings with officials in India, the Defense Department said.

Testifying on Wednesday before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Blinken said the meeting would be an opportunity “to lay out in very frank terms the many concerns that we have with Beijing’s actions and behavior,” including the effects of Chinese trade practices on American workers.

But he said he and Mr. Sullivan would also “explore whether there are other avenues for cooperation” with Beijing.

Mr. Blinken added that the meeting was not the start of a strategic dialogue, and that follow-up meetings would depend on “tangible progress and tangible outcomes” on Washington’s concerns.

The meeting in Alaska will be the first known in-person diplomatic contact between American and Chinese diplomats since June, when the secretary of state at the time, Mike Pompeo, held a tense and largely fruitless meeting with Mr. Yang in Hawaii.

On Friday, Mr. Biden will meet virtually with the leaders of Australia, Japan and India, a group collectively known as “the Quad,” and one whose implicit purposes is to check Chinese economic and military influence in Asia.

The strategy document released by the White House last week, and overseen by Mr. Sullivan, outlined plans for rebuilding the United States’ economy, democracy and foreign alliances to establish a “position of strength” against rivals like Russia and China.

“By restoring U.S. credibility and reasserting forward-looking global leadership, we will ensure that America, not China, sets the international agenda,” the White House plan said.

But Mr. Biden has tread cautiously so far and has not yet taken any major policy actions toward China. Even President Donald J. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports are under review, Mr. Sullivan said last week. And the Pentagon is conducting a monthslong review of its China policies and force posture in Asia.

Chinese officials have publicly said that they do not seek confrontation with the United States or global dominance, and that the Trump administration is to blame for a relationship between Washington and Beijing that analysts say is at its lowest point in decades.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

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