U.S. Deputy Secretary of State visits China . . .
On Monday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Chinese Foreign Vice-Minister Xie Feng in Tianjin, China. Before the meeting, the U.S. made clear that the visit was not meant to deal with any specific issue but rather to ensure that communication channels between the two countries are kept open. Ned Price, a State Department spokesperson, said the U.S. “welcomes the stiff competition between our countries” and that it “[does] not seek conflict with the PRC.” And yet, at the meeting, China stressed that the U.S.-China relationship was strained – Xie Feng said that relations between the two countries had reached a “stalemate” and faced “serious difficulties.”
Scrapping Meng Wanzhou extradition request among China’s asks . . .
According to Xie Feng, the U.S.-China relationship is facing difficulties because “some Americans portray China as an ‘imagined enemy.’” Because of this, he said, China wants the U.S. “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy.” China then presented its counterparts with two lists – one a list of actions that the U.S. must take to remedy the relationship, and the other a list of China’s key concerns. The remedial actions included removing visa restrictions and sanctions on key Chinese government officials and ending its request of Canada to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. The list of China’s key concerns included the rise of anti-Asian racism in the United States.
Implications for the U.S.-China relationship . . .
The U.S.-China relationship began to deteriorate under former President Donald Trump. The Biden administration has attempted to “return the relationship to calmer footing” but has also retained many sanctions and has strongly criticized China on its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. This latest meeting follows a particularly contentious meeting in March between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Alaska. While the Tianjin meeting was meant to be more cordial and focused on communication between the two countries, the statements that followed were rather hostile and show little signs of the relationship being repaired anytime soon.
- Nikkei Asia: China presses US to drop sanctions in high-level talks
- Reuters: US, China positions ossify at entrenched Tianjin talks
- South China Morning Post: US-China relations: Beijing lays down red lines for first time in Sherman meeting