Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
July 9, 2022
It is a good sign that US and China have engaged in many dialogues recently, obviously both nations feel obliged to re-set the fraught bilateral relation that could destabilize the global system. US and China face major challenges for a comprehensive re-set.
It will take strong political leaderships and diplomatic professionals to sort out the priorities and develop a practical agenda for engagement. It will take time.
The readouts of this face-to-face meeting are positive. The five-hour or so meeting was unprecedented. It must mean that both parties have reached some common grounds and discussed some specific agenda items for moving forward. The meeting started with a photo-op that Blinken and Wang shake hands without face masks and apparently feeling positive about their meeting. There was also a luncheon which was more than appropriate for diplomatic engagement of major powers.
A ground-breaking event during their long meeting was that, as reported by news media, Wang and Blinken engaged direct conversation without interpreter. It is much more than symbolic. We are pretty sure that Blinken can not carry a conversation in Chinese, so Wang used his English for the direct conversation. It means that Wang is confident/comfortable enough with Blinken to speak and listen without a translator. That is a great person-person relationship. It would be another breakthrough if a senior US diplomat can converse in Chinese without translator.
It is widely expected that Wang will take over Yang’s position as China’s most senior diplomat later this year. It would be Blinken’s significant personal asset knowing that Wang would speak with him directly.
Wang-Blinken ‘constructive’ meeting in Bali reduces misunderstanding; China makes stance clear by raising four lists
By GT staff reportersPublished: Jul 10, 2022 12:47 AM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a five-hour long meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Bali on Saturday, during which Wang pointed out the China-US three joint communiques are the real “guardrails” for bilateral relations. Wang also raised four lists for the US, including US’ wrongdoings to be corrected, cases of concern to China, China-related bills of concern, and areas of potential cooperation.
The Saturday meeting between Wang and Blinken was held on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the two sides agreed the meeting was constructive and will help build mutual understanding, reduce miscalculation and create conditions for future exchanges between the two top leaders, according to a release from the Xinhua News Agency.
During the meeting, Wang pointed out that the US has suffered serious Sinophobia and if it lets the situation goes on unchecked, the US’ China policies will be at a dead end. He also noted the US’ failure to honor its previous commitments in many fields.
Wang stressed that the best way to help China-US relations emerge from their current plight is to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state and that the US should concretely fulfill US President Joe Biden’s promises, including a commitment that US does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; it does not support “Taiwan independence,” and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China.
However, given China’s characterization of the meeting as “constructive,” the US may have also provided some positive indications during the talks, the expert noted.
As reported by foreign media, Wang and Blinken’s meeting lasted longer than five hours, a long time for a one-to-one meeting, and Wang and Blinken may have direct discussions addressing a number of topics without via translators, which means the effective time for the meeting was above three hours, which is rare and means the two sides had very candid talks and sent clear messages to each other, Lü said.
During the Saturday meeting, Wang told Blinken that as the US had promised not to support “Taiwan independence,” it should stop hollowing out the one-China police or playing the “Taiwan card” to sabotage China’s reunification.
Wang said the US has cited a need for ‘guardrails” for China-US relations, the three joint communiques are in fact the most reliable “guardrails” for the two countries and as long as the two countries fulfill their promises in the three communiques, the bilateral relationship will not deviate from the track. Otherwise, more guardrails won’t work, Wang said.
On Saturday, Wang also presented the US with four lists – one list requiring the US to correct wrong China-focused policies and remarks and actions, one addressing China’s key concerns on key cases, one on US bills related to China, and a further listing outlining areas of cooperation covering eight fields, expressing hope that the US takes these items seriously.
The latter two lists are new additions to the previous two items, which China put forward during Sherman’s visit to Tianjin in July 2021.
China presents US with further demands to improve relations at meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Sat, July 9, 2022, 2:30 AM
China has expanded its list of demands to the United States if it wants to improve relations as senior officials met on Saturday.
Both US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described their talks in Bali as “constructive”, with Wang saying they had created conditions for further high-level exchanges.
“Sino-US relations are still not out of the predicament created by the previous US administration, and they are even facing more and more challenges,” Wang said, according to the state news agency Xinhua.
He added that the US wrongly sees China as a threat, saying: “If this ‘threat’ theory is allowed to further develop, US policy towards China will be entering a dead end that it cannot exit”.
Wang said China has presented Blinken four demands: remedial action for Washington to take; a list of Beijing’s key concerns; US legislation it wants changing and eight areas where the two sides can cooperate.
Details of the list were not made available. China had already presented a list of its key concerns and remedial action it wanted in July last year, including a call for visa restrictions on Communist Party members to be lifted and for fairer treatment of Chinese citizens in the US.
The talks between Blinken and Wang on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Bali lasted for five hours, including a lunch meeting.
“Despite the complexities of our relationship, I can say with some confidence that our delegations found today’s discussions useful, candid and constructive,” Blinken told reporters after the talks.
“The US wants our communication channel with Beijing to continue to remain open.”
“The US must not underestimate the firm determination of the Chinese people to defend territorial sovereignty, and must not make subversive mistakes that ruin peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Wang said, according to Xinhua.
Blinken said the US has expressed concerns over “Beijing’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and activities regarding Taiwan”, Hong Kong, forced labour in Xinjiang and the treatment of ethnic groups in Tibet.
On Ukraine, Blinken said the US is concerned over China’s alignment with Russia, adding that Beijing is not neutral in the crisis.
“I would start with the proposition that it’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression. There’s a clear aggressor. There’s a clear victim,” he said.
“But even if you accept that as a premise, I don’t think that China is, in fact, engaging in a way that suggests neutrality. It supported Russia in the UN. It continues to do so. It’s amplified Russian propaganda going back even as Russia was massing its forces.”
He also said the two nations can work on climate change, food security and global health, while Beijing said both sides had agreed to create better conditions for their consular and diplomatic officials.
“China and the US are two major countries, so it is necessary for the two countries to maintain normal exchanges,” Wang told reporters ahead of the talks. “We do need to work together to ensure that this relationship will continue to move forward along the right track”.
Diplomatic observers said despite the many differences, the meeting is paving the way for engagement between their top leaders.
Blinken and China’s Wang Yi hold ‘candid’ talks on Ukraine and trade
David Brunnstrom and Stanley Widianto
Fri, July 8, 2022, 6:26 PM
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday he had discussed Russian aggression in Ukraine during more than five hours of talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and raised concerns over Beijing’s alignment with Moscow.
Both diplomats described their first in-person talks since October as “candid”, with the meeting taking place a day after they attended a gathering of G20 foreign ministers on the Indonesian island of Bali.
“I shared again with the state councillor that we are concerned about the PRC’s alignment with Russia,” Blinken told a news conference after the talks, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
Blinken meets China’s Wang after leading pressure efforts on Russia
Fri, July 8, 2022, 6:23 PM
U.S. officials say Blinken’s first face-to-face meeting with Wang since October, which includes a morning session of talks and a working lunch, is aimed at keeping the difficult U.S. relationship with Beijing stable and preventing it from veering inadvertently into conflict.
Earlier today, I met with State Councilor Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China for a little over five hours. The relationship between the United States and China is highly consequential for our countries but also for the world. We’re committed to managing this relationship, this competition, responsibly as the world expects us to do, leading with diplomacy.
State Councilor Wang and I discussed how we see the state of our bilateral relationship, and I had the opportunity to directly communicate our approach to the People’s Republic of China, as I laid out in a speech a few weeks ago. We talked about regional and global issues in which both of our countries have strong stakes, including the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine and North Korea’s nuclear program. We discussed where more cooperation between our countries should be possible, including on the climate crisis, food security, global health, counternarcotics. These are each global challenges that require major countries to do their part within the international community.
And of course, we addressed areas of disagreement and ways to manage and reduce risks. I conveyed the deep concerns of the United States regarding Beijing’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity toward Taiwan and the vital importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and I relayed our concerns about the repression of freedom in Hong Kong, forced labor, the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Tibet, the genocide in Xinjiang.
Now, none of these are easy topics, but the United States seeks always to be a consistent voice on human rights and fundamental freedoms, not to stand against China or any other country but to help advance peace, security, and human dignity. As always, I raised cases of Americans who are detained or otherwise unable to leave the country.
Despite the complexities of our relationship, I can say with some confidence that our delegations found today’s discussions useful and constructive. Moving forward, the United States wants our channels of communication with Beijing to continue to remain open.
My hope would be that if, as China continues to engage itself in all of these efforts that it engages in a race to the top, that it raise its game. That would actually benefit everyone.