Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
June 5, 2023
US-China relation is tense but more significantly it is complex. The US and China have different culture backgrounds as well governments. The reality is that mass media, in both nations, contributes to miscommunications and misunderstandings. Which, unfortunately, further complicated the efforts to stabilize bilateral relations.
- In broad terms, all Chinese media are “state” media per se. But not every Chinese media speaks for the central government. For example, the headline “Chinese state media dismiss US diplomat’s Beijing visit, does not necessary fully represent China’s government view.
- On the other hand, Laura Rosenberger, chairperson of the American Institute in Taiwan, told media that Washington opposes “external interference” in the election could be viewed exactly an “external interference.” Taiwan is China’s core interest and China’s position is that Taiwan is a part of China therefore election in Taiwan is a China’s “internal” affair.
- The next headline “Washington Eyes China Trade Following Debt-Ceiling Deal” could be very puzzling for Chinese readers. Because does “Washington” represent the US government? These statements are very hostile toward China. Then these congressmen and senators proposed “laws” or “bills” calling for tariff hikes etc., will they become the US Laws? When?
- What is President Biden’s position about these proposed laws? What may happen if the next US Administration is Republican?
- What are non-Chinese ethnic groups in China?
Chinese state media dismiss US diplomat’s Beijing visit
JUN 5, 2023 2:40 PM PHT
BEIJING, China – A Chinese state-backed newspaper criticized the visit of a senior US State Department official to China, saying his visit was motivated more by Washington’s own goal to portray itself as the side seeking communication and not Beijing.
The United States has been trying to create an image as a responsible country by delivering a “goodwill message” to the outside world that it has been seeking communication with China, and trying to shift the blame to China for the lack of communication or refusal to communicate, the Global Times wrote late on Sunday, citing Chinese experts.
The scathing commentary coincided with the arrival of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink in Beijing, in a visit that the State Department said will see discussions on “key issues in the bilateral relationship” of the two superpowers.
Laura Rosenberger, chairperson of the American Institute in Taiwan which handles ties in the absence of official relations, arrived in Taipei on Monday for meetings with senior Taiwanese officials, the island’s foreign ministry said.
She told Taiwanese media that the United States would not choose sides in Taiwan’s January presidential election and that Washington opposes “external interference” in the vote, the island’s official Central News Agency reported.
Washington Eyes China Trade Following Debt-Ceiling Deal
Mon, June 5, 2023 at 8:29 AM PDT
Washington lawmakers continue to call for a tariff hike on exports from China.
On Friday evening, following an historic debt ceiling deal sent to President Joe Biden’s desk on Thursday, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) delivered an address on the Senate floor calling for a 25 percent increase in duties on Chinese imports into the U.S. He wants to see the Raising Tariffs on Imports from China Act he introduced in May included as an amendment to the debt ceiling legislation, which will suspend the U.S. debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025.
Hawley believes trade ties with China are contributing to America’s economic fragility. “Our trade deficit with China, as we stand here tonight, is at near record levels,” he said. “Every dollar of that deficit represents blue-collar jobs destroyed, industry shuttered, manufacturing capacity withering away. I’d submit to you that it is the most important deficit that we face.”
America has lost nearly 4 million jobs because of over-reliance on China’s manufacturing sector, he said. “We can talk about budget reforms, and we can talk about savings here and there, but until we do the work of bringing back productive capacity to this nation… we will not put our economy on the basis that we need to address the economic challenges that we face,” Hawley said.
Hawley’s bill would place greater reporting responsibilities on the executive branch of government, requiring the president to calculate and publish the total value of Chinese imports, and the value of annual U.S. exports to China. If a deficit is recorded, the law would require the president to raise tariffs and build upon the Trump-era punitive duties implemented under Section 301 of the Trade Act. The president would be able to drop the tariffs if the U.S. records a bilateral surplus of exports to China.
Calls for further crackdowns on China are coming from both parties. On Wednesday, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the Uyghur Genocide Accountability and Sanctions Act (UGASA), which aims to strengthen the protections afforded by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), enacted in December 2021.
Mass genocide against Uyghurs and other minority ethnic groups continues in China’s Xinjiang region, the lawmakers claimed, calling for stronger action to hold Beijing accountable for the country’s crimes.
“By building upon current legislation, this bicameral bill aims to enhance the enforcement of secondary sanctions on businesses that offer assistance to the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing atrocities against the Uyghurs,” Rubio said. UGASA would expand Chinese sanctions and travel restrictions on officials deemed responsible for the abuses, and would also grant the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development authority to intervene.
Under the law, U.S. companies would be allowed to help victims of genocide and forced labor broadcast initiatives, going against China’s propaganda, and assist in preserving the cultural and religious heritages suppressed by the Chinese government. UGASA would also mandate disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission of groups or individuals that support the Uyghur genocide, while funding organizations that document the human rights abuses. “As Beijing continues with its campaign of oppression against non-Chinese ethnic groups, we must uphold sanctions against Chinese authorities and companies responsible for acts of genocide,” Rubio added.
According to a 2020 China census, more than 11 million Uyghurs live in the Xinjiang region, which produces most of China’s cotton fiber. “Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang are being tortured, imprisoned, forced into labor, and pressured to abandon their religious and cultural practices by the Chinese government,” Merkley said.
The U.S. “must send a resounding and unequivocal message against genocide and slave labor wherever these evils appear,” he added. “The horrifying surveillance, imprisonment, torture, and forced ‘re-education camps’ that Uyghur Muslims have been subjected to are appalling human rights violations, depriving millions of people of their liberty in an effort to strip an entire community of their culture and their past.”