Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

June 4, 2023

President Biden has not made any official speech to the public about his China Policy. But his cabinet members have made various overtures to their Chinese counterparts. Plus, the US Congress has a strong hardline position against China. At the US State or local level, there are very aggressive anti-Chinese voices as well as actions. It could be a US strategy to confuse the Chinese, but it is also risky.

Of course, the US and China, the two largest economies in the world have many important issues of concern. Some issues are important but not urgent, some issues are urgent but not important. However, it could be crucial that Biden and Xi jointly establish a clear common agenda for their subordinates’ dialogues.

For example, there are some areas that the US has announced that the US will “contain” China such as semiconductors and 5G so they are off limit. On the other hand, green energy, including EV and rare earth metals etc., have some room for negotiations. Bilateral military relations are the riskiest area that must be dealt with carefully. But the military is the most disciplined force within any government thus if the President has a clear policy and communicated to the military through chain of commands, chance of misunderstanding can be diminished.

The US and China have very different governments. It is obvious that President Xi in China is in a better position than President Biden in the USA. President Biden has low popular support and has no control over Congress; there is no uniform or consistent messages for China. Under President Biden, the US military seems to have a different message toward China from other departments.

President Biden also has to follow closely the US political calendar. For example, Biden had to cut his last trip to Asia because of the national debit crisis. Then, Biden is facing a tough re-election campaign, the general election voting date is November 5, 2024, less than 18 months away.

Jake Sullivan said that “Biden will meet China’s Xi ‘at some point” makes perfect sense. But Biden’s title may change after January of 2024.

Biden will meet China’s Xi ‘at some point,’ Sullivan says

Olafimihan Oshin

Sun, June 4, 2023 at 1:29 PM PDT

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet “at some point” as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.

During an appearance on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” host Fareed Zakaria asked Sullivan if he agrees with recent comments made by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who told The Economist that U.S.-China relations were “in the classic pre-World War One situation where neither side” knows that they don’t have any political room to make any concessions on the matter.

“I sat in the room with President Biden when he met with President Xi in Bali last year, and that was not my experience,” Sullivan told Zakaria, adding that the two world leaders tried to reach an understanding.

“And the desire on both parts to put a floor under the relationship, to manage the competition responsibly, to ensure that competition does not become conflict,” Sullivan added. “And there are a number of different elements to that. But one of the key ones is that as we have intense competition, we also have intense diplomacy.”

Sullivan also told Zakaria that he just met with his Chinese counterpart, the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi, where both diplomats discussed “all of the strategic issues” in their ongoing relationship, adding that he hopes to see discussions between the two countries continue in the coming months.

“And then, at some point, we will see President Biden and President Xi come back together again. So as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing inconsistent with, on the one hand, competing vigorously in important domains on economics and technology, and also ensuring that that competition does not veer into conflict or confrontation. That is the firm conviction of President Biden. That is how he will responsibly manage this relationship,” Sullivan said. “And we believe there is nothing inevitable about some kind of conflict or cold war between the U.S. and China.”

Biden hasn’t changed U.S. policy on Taiwan, Jake Sullivan says

David Cohen

Sun, June 4, 2023 at 7:02 AM PDT

President Joe Biden’s national security adviser said Sunday that the president has not changed U.S. policy toward the China-Taiwan situation though he has repeatedly said the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China invaded.

“The entire Taiwan policy of the United States is built on a series of internal tensions,” said Jake Sullivan, speaking Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

“The One China policy,” Sullivan told Zakaria, “if you begin to unpack it, you will recognize that it is about dealing in a world of internal tension within the policy and trying to manage those tensions effectively to ensure peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. This is not a model of clarity, the One China policy.”

But Biden has repeatedly stated that the U.S. would indeed defend Taiwan by military force if China were to invade the island, which it has always claimed to be part of its territory. “Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said in September 2022 told interviewer Scott Pelley on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Sullivan suggested that Biden’s statements have been consistent with existing American policy, even as Zakaria said “there’s a contradiction there” in parsing Biden’s remarks.

“The thing is, what it lacks in clarity,” he said, “the One China policy has succeeded in actually achieving the practical objective of decades of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. That’s why our policy hasn’t changed.“

“That’s why we believe the One China policy should continue to ensure that there are no unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. And that we maintain that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait for decades to come.”

On Sunday, China’s defense minister defended sailing a warship near an American destroyer and Canadian frigate in those waters. A day earlier, at the same international forum in Singapore, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States would not “flinch in the face of bullying or coercion” from China.

UPDATE 3-China rebukes US, Canadian navies for Taiwan Strait transit

TAIPEI, June 3 (Reuters) – China’s military rebuked the United States and Canada for “deliberately provoking risk” after the countries’ navies staged a rare joint sailing through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

The Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said its forces monitored the ships throughout and “handled” the situation in accordance with the law and regulations.

“The countries concerned deliberately create incidents in the Taiwan Strait region, deliberately provoke risks, maliciously undermine regional peace and stability, and send the wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” it said late Saturday.

There was no immediate response to the sailing from China’s military, which routinely denounces them as a U.S. effort to stir up tensions.

PLA handles US, Canadian warships in provocative Taiwan Straits transit amid Shangri-La Dialogue, forcing US vessel to alter course

Global Times: By  Liu Xuanzun

Published: Jun 04, 2023 02:45 PM Updated: Jun 04, 2023 02:39 PM

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) handled a provocative transit in the Taiwan Straits made by US and Canadian warships on Saturday, with a Chinese destroyer reportedly forcing the US vessel to alter course by cutting in front of it, showing determination and capability in countering the provocation, experts said on Sunday.

The US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and the Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montréal made a transit through the Taiwan Straits on Saturday, and the PLA Eastern Theater Command organized naval and aerial forces, tracked and monitored them through the whole course, and handled the situation in accordance with law and regulations, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement late on Saturday.

These countries deliberately stirred up trouble and risk in the Taiwan Straits, maliciously undermined regional peace and stability and sent wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces, Shi said.

Shi’s statement came after the US and Canada hyped their warships’ transit through the Taiwan Straits, including Canadian news outlet Global News releasing a video on Saturday, which showed a PLA Navy Type 052D destroyer picking up speed and cutting in front of the bow of the USS Chung-Hoon from left to right, forcing the US warship to alter course and slow down to avoid a crash as the two vessels were reportedly within 150 yards (137 meters.)

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