US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s three-day visit to China, during which he held extensive exchanges with Chinese officials, was considered by Chinese experts as “generally positive and playing a role in stabilizing relations between China and the USA”, but observers also believed such a visit alone could not fundamentally change the current trend of China-US ties.

Experts noted that the five-point consensus reached by the two countries during Blinken’s visit suggested that China resisted US pressure and helped push both countries to work to improve relations in line with the consensus reached by top US leaders. two countries. countries in San Francisco.

The main challenge in China-US ties lies in the fact that the US still has the wrong perception of seeing China as a rival or enemy rather than a partner. The US is currently struggling to free itself from its preconceived notions about China, which leads to difficulties in setting the right tone for Washington’s policies towards Beijing and in effectively managing the US-China relationship. As a result, Chinese experts have urged the US to show courage to accurately identify and correct its misconceptions about China.

‘Frank’ conversations

China’s Foreign Ministry said late Friday that talks with Blinken during his visit to China were “frank, substantive and constructive.”

During a courtesy meeting with Blinken on Friday afternoon, Chinese President Xi Jinping elaborated on China’s authoritative position on China-U.S. relations and proposed guidelines, said Yang Tao, director-general of the Department of North American and American Affairs. Oceanians of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. while briefing the media on Blinken’s visit on Friday night.

Xi met with Blinken on Friday and stressed that China is willing to cooperate with the US, but cooperation must be a two-way street. “China is not afraid of competition, but competition should be a matter of common progress, not a zero-sum game,” Xi said.

China and the US should be partners, not rivals; help each other succeed instead of hurting each other; seek common ground and reserve differences rather than engage in fierce competition; and honor words with actions, rather than saying one thing but doing another, Xi said.

Xi said China is committed to non-alliance and the US should not create small blocs, adding that each side can have its friends and partners and should not target, oppose or harm the other.

Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese Foreign Minister, held talks with Blinken on Friday in Beijing, with the two sides reaching a five-point consensus based on a comprehensive exchange of points of view.

Firstly, both sides agreed to continue to work hard to stabilize and develop China-US relations in accordance with the guidance of the two heads of state. Secondly, both sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and contacts at all levels.

Third, the two sides announced that they would hold the first meeting of the China-US intergovernmental dialogue on artificial intelligence, continue to advance consultations on the principles guiding China-US relations, hold a new round of China-US consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs and China-US maritime affairs, and continue consular consultations. The two countries’ anti-drug working group will hold a meeting of senior officials.

Fourth, the two sides will take measures to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, welcome students from each other’s countries, and work together for the success of the 14th China-US Tourism Leadership Summit to be held in Xi ‘ and in May. Fifth, the two sides will maintain consultations on critical international and regional issues and enhance communication between the special envoys of the two sides.

With a view to advancing the implementation of the agreement reached by the two leaders in San Francisco, Blinken’s visit achieved some positive results, with the five-point consensus reached by both sides essentially continuing the consensus reached by the two leaders in San Francisco, Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Wu noted that, judging from the previous visit schedule released by the US, Blinken did not achieve the expected objectives. This reflected the different approaches of China and the US in managing bilateral relations.

Signals sent by the US before Blinken’s departure indicated that Washington wanted to reset the agenda of China-US relations. However, the five-point consensus reached by both sides showed that the US attempt was unsuccessful and China’s efforts helped push the two countries to return to implementing the consensus reached by the two leaders in San Francisco, Wu said.

Blinken also reportedly asked Beijing to avoid taking “provocative” measures during the inauguration next month of Lai Ching-te, who was elected Taiwan’s regional leader in January, AFP cited a US official as saying last week. The US diplomat also planned to express his “deep concerns regarding the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base, as well as its human rights abuses and unfair economic and trade practices,” according to previous media reports. Social Communication.

While consensus between the two sides on effectively managing their relations appears to have largely been reached over the past high-level interactions between China and the US, some experts are concerned about whether the US can guarantee that it will effectively manage the differences and expand cooperation. through action, especially when the US is in an election year.

“If the US fails to follow the consensus and fulfill its promises, and further seeks to contain China due to electoral politics, encircle China, tarnish China’s image and interfere in China’s internal affairs, it is very likely to have a negative impact on the future trajectory of China-US relations,” Diao Daming, a professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Future challenges

At the end of his three-day visit to China, Blinken told reporters at a press conference on Friday that he warned China to “stop exporting materials that allow Russia to rebuild its industrial base,” and also told CNN that Washington has seen evidence of Chinese attempts to “influence and possibly interfere” in the upcoming US elections.

These remarks are all aimed at the US domestic audience, as both issues are often used by the Biden administration as political fodder to hype up China-US relations in domestic politics in order to avoid appearing weak to China, Li said Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times, noting that as elections approach, the bilateral relationship will become more fragile.

This view was shared by Wu. “I think the development of China-US relations in the future will continue to be full of ups and downs and is unlikely to truly stabilize or improve significantly. Especially in the 2024 election year, the Biden administration will have to show toughness toward China and exert pressure on China to serve its own interests,” Wu said.

Last week, Biden called on the US Trade Representative to consider tripling the existing Section 301 tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum. Earlier this month, he also called for a ban on imports of Chinese-made electric cars to the US.

Biden’s measures are aimed at appealing to certain groups of voters in the US, said Wu, who predicted there will be more actions aimed at showing toughness and putting pressure on China. “If Biden feels that his electoral prospects are not good, he may intensify his efforts to play the ‘China card,’” Wu noted.

In the first half of this year, China-US relations may maintain fragile and unreliable stability, and there will be greater fluctuations in the second half of the year, Wu said.

Via Global Times.


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