Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
June 10, 2022
Ambassador Burns’ assessment of current US-China relation as “This might be the lowest moment since then” is very honest. Unfortunately, it is also true!
President Xi said lately that “it takes two to tangle,” so both the US and China are responsible for the “unremitting competition between us.” As the top diplomat for the US in China, Ambassador Burns could also point out what is his “agenda” for resolving or reducing the difficulties between US and China.
There are “profound divisions” between the US and China, but it is not as the Ambassador characterized as on “everything!” Biden administration rejoined the Paris Agreement and China are working as a team on countering global climate changes. At least that is what Ambassador Burns’ former boss, John Kerry tells everybody. It was during the Trump Administration who pulled US out of the Paris Agreement. Who knows what the US position will be after 2024!
Further, on June 10, 2022, Secretary Austin met with Chinese Defense Chief Wei: “During the talks, both sides agreed that the two militaries should implement the important consensus reached by the heads of two states, maintain high-level strategic communication, promote strategic mutual trust, and well manage contradictions and divergences, so as not to escalate them into conflicts and confrontation.”
Ambassador Burns speaks for the US, but he is in Beijing for improving US-China bilateral relations. However, if Ambassador Burns sees his job is criticizing his host nation, then he should stay in DC, and he could be more effective.
The attached US news report may totally mis-represent Ambassador Burns’ position. If so, it is up to Ambassador Burns to clear it up for us.
Let us hope that now is only the “lowest moment” for US-China ties! After Ambassador Burns’ tenure in Beijing, we wish US and China bridged some of the “profound divisions!” At least, please do not create any new “profound division!”
China Ties at ‘Lowest Moment’ Since 1972, US Ambassador Says
Iain Marlow and Ana Monteiro Thu, June 9, 2022, 11:52 AM
(Bloomberg) — US relations with China are likely in the worst state since former President Richard Nixon’s historic trip in 1972 helped re-establish diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing, according to Nicholas Burns, the current American ambassador to the Asian nation.
“This might be the lowest moment since then,” Burns told the Utah Valley University’s China Challenge Summit via video from Beijing on Thursday. “We have seemingly unremitting competition between us.”
The ambassador’s frank comments came as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Singapore for a regional security forum that will include a meeting with a top Chinese defense official.
Noting the “profound divisions” between the US and China on everything from economics and technology to security and human rights, Burns said that Beijing was “pushing out for power militarily against the United States” and allies including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Americans believe China isn’t playing by the rules on economics and trade, Burns said, adding that there is intense competition between the world’s two largest economies on the key industries of the future, including artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Burns said that commercial competition was fair, “but the Chinese are seeking to militarize many of these technologies, and that presents a real challenge to us.”
Burns also criticized China for repressive policies in Hong Kong, where he said Beijing has “snuffed out” all remaining freedoms, and in Xinjiang, where he reiterated US accusations that Chinese actions amount to genocide. China has rejected criticism of its policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang as unwarranted interference in its internal affairs.