China and US resume talks, but ‘risk reduction’ lingers

Omar Adan

Global Courant

China and the United States have agreed to step up both official and unofficial dialogues after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ended a two-day visit to China on Monday.

Blinken, whose trip to Beijing was postponed due to the Chinese spy balloon incident in early January, finally met with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a five-hour meeting with Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Sunday and another meeting with top diplomat Wang Yi on Monday.

Both the Chinese and American sides described the Qin-Blinken talks as frank, in-depth and constructive.

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China said the two countries will continue official top-level dialogues, including Qin and Wang’s upcoming visits to the US, and also working-level communication. They said both nations will increase the number of direct flights between them and encourage humanities, educational and academic exchanges between their people.

During their meeting, Wang told Blame that the US should stop glorifying “the Chinese threat theory,” lift unilateral sanctions against China, give up suppression of China’s technological development, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

A article According to the state-owned Defense Times, all four of Wang’s demands were rejected by Blinken.

Chinese academics and commentators said that since the US is unlikely to relax its stance on the ban on technology and Taiwan affairs anytime soon, unofficial exchanges are the only way to revive Sino-US relations.

At the end of his journey, Blinken told the media that both sides agreed to establish a working group to address the issue related to China’s export of fentanyl precursor chemicals to the US. He also said he believes China can play a role in reducing the risk of a global food shortage by helping to promote a long-term Black Sea grain deal.

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He added that he had told his Chinese counterparts that what the US means by “risk reduction” is vastly different from “decoupling”.

He said the US has no intention of disengaging from China as many US companies still want to do business with the country, but the US government will continue to prevent its technologies from being used against the American people – for example in making of hypersonic weapons or in human rights violations.

He said that both sides were discussing the war in Ukraine. He said Washington saw no evidence of China sending deadly weapons to Russia, but urged Beijing officials to remain vigilant about some Chinese private companies selling their products to Russia for military use.

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He reiterated that the US will not support Taiwan’s independence, but will ensure that the island can protect itself. He said more US officials will visit China in the coming weeks.

Five ‘no’s’

Last September, US President Joe Biden told Xi that the US will not push for a new Cold War with Beijing, nor will it change China’s political system, nor will it ask a nation to choose between the US and China, nor will it support Taiwan’s independence, nor a conflict with the Chinese will search.

Beijing later called this “five no.” It said that during his face-to-face meeting with Xi in Bali last November, Biden reiterated that the US would follow the “five nos” principle.

However, Beijing expressed serious dissatisfaction as Washington continued to sanction Chinese companies, sell weapons to Taiwan and persuade its allies to impose export bans against China. Tensions between China and the US escalated further after a Chinese spy balloon was spotted in US skies in late January and the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met in California in April.

“The Chinese side has made our position clear and the two sides have agreed to live up to the common understandings that President Biden and I reached in Bali,” Xi said in his opening statement. speech when meeting with Blinken on Monday. “The two sides have also made progress and agreed on a number of specific issues. This is very good.”

“Interactions between states should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity. I hope that through this visit you will make more positive contributions to stabilizing China-US relations,” Xi said.

He said competition between major countries does not represent the trend of the times, let alone solve America’s own problems or the challenges of the world. He said that China respects US interests and does not try to challenge or supplant the US, but at the same time hopes that the US respects China and does not harm China’s legitimate rights and interests.

He said that China always hopes for a healthy and stable relationship between China and the US and believes that the two great countries can overcome various difficulties and find the right way to deal with each other based on mutual respect, coexist peacefully and win -win cooperation. He also called on the US to take a rational and pragmatic stance and work with China in the same direction.

Prior to this, China’s foreign ministry has said Biden overreacted to the Chinese balloon incident when he ordered the balloon shot down. Just before Blinken’s trip to China, Biden said the incident “was more embarrassing than intentional.”

“China has some legitimate problems not related to the US, and I think one of the things that caused the balloon wasn’t so much that it got shot down, but I don’t think the leadership knew where it was, knew what was in it , and what was going on,” he said Saturday.

“I hope to meet Xi again in the coming months and talk about legitimate differences we have, but also how we get along,” he said.

Taiwan is important

During their meeting in Beijing on Sunday, Qin told Shining that the Taiwan issue is at the heart of China’s core interests, the most pervasive issue and the most pronounced risk in the China-US relationship. He said the US should adhere to the one China principle and really fulfill the three joint communiqués between China and the US, and their commitment not to support Taiwan’s independence.

According to a rack published by Beijing after the meeting, China and the US agreed to continue consultations on the guiding principles of their relations. Both sides agreed to continue consultations through the joint working group to address specific issues in the relationship.

In fact, Biden and Xi had already discussed these two topics in Bali last November.

Sun Chenghao, an associate researcher at the Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS) at Tsinghua University, said in an article from the time that the US and China maintained a stable relationship for decades after announcing the three joint communiqués between 1972 and 1982. Sun said the two countries may consider drafting the fourth to clearly define long-term Sino-US relations.

“These two agreements only mean that both sides will continue to meet and talk,” a columnist from Zhejiang writes in a article posted Monday. “China definitely knows how serious things are in Taiwan, but it’s unclear if the US really understands them.”

He says the most concrete results of the Qin-Blinken meeting are that both sides agreed to encourage more people-to-people and educational exchanges. He says it is easier to boost unofficial exchanges and the number of flights than it is to solve political problems.

“Since the US has repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises, it is unclear how conflicts between the US and China can still be resolved through official dialogues,” writes Yuan Zhou, a military and political columnist, in a article. “The agreement on encouraging unofficial exchanges may be a way out.”

Yuan says top executives from Tesla, JP Morgan and Microsoft recently visited China, showing that there is a strong foundation to rebuild Sino-US relations and reduce political conflict.

Chen Feng, a columnist at, say American companies such as Boeing, Nvidia, Ford and Tesla cannot afford to leave the huge Chinese markets.

He predicts that given all their investments, European countries will not join the US in punishing China and then the US will fail to maintain a strong alliance with Australia, Japan and the UK. He says this is a good way for China to break the United States’ technological blockade.

Read: Tech giants ‘de-risk’ from China, but selectively

Read: China, US move closer to high-level official talks

Follow Jeff Pao on Twitter at @jeffpao3


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