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Last week, China became one of the focuses of international public opinion.
First, although the defense ministers of China and the United States went to Singapore to participate in the Shangri-La Dialogue, they, as the defense ministers of the two most powerful countries in the world, would not meet when they sat at the same table. Second, although Sino-US relations are at an absolute trough , but the biggest names in European and American companies gathered in China last week.
The above-mentioned phenomenon reflects the reality of the current Sino-US relations, that is, in confrontation with each other, no one can overwhelm the other for the time being; but the bilateral relationship is also in a sensitive and dangerous situation.
The gap between China and the United States is too far
The fundamental reason why the defense ministers of China and the United States did not meet at the Shangri-La Dialogue is that the two countries have far apart understandings of major issues, and are not even on the same track at all. This is not just a matter of conflicting interests. question. This is unavoidably worrying for the world‘s No. 1 and No. 2 powers, and even for the world.
The public reason for the Chinese Defense Minister’s refusal to meet with the U.S. Defense Secretary is that the Chinese Defense Minister is still under sanction by the U.S., even though the sanction was imposed during the Trump era.
According to China’s point of view, talking to the U.S. defense minister in the context of his own country’s defense minister being sanctioned is essentially tacitly acquiescing to the U.S. sanctions against the Chinese defense minister, and it can even be understood as being summoned by the United States to talk. This is absolutely unacceptable in the context of Chinese political culture. This is the so-called “distinguish between ourselves and the enemy, and distinguish between likes and hates.”
Shen Dingli, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said: China does not want to meet with U.S. officials in what it considers to be indignity. “We want to meet on the basis of mutual respect.” Concession seeks compromise.”
The Chinese government believes that sanctioning Chinese officials will hinder the improvement of relations between the two countries. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said Washington should lift sanctions on Li Shufu in order to “create the necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between the Chinese and American militaries.” She reiterated China’s position on Tuesday that if Washington wants to resume dialogue between the two militaries, it should “immediately correct the wrong practice.”
Therefore, the Chinese defense minister’s refusal to meet with the US defense minister is a gesture of principle, which is essentially a matter of dignity.
The US view is different. The United States believes that being sanctioned does not mean that meetings and exchanges cannot be held.
Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund in the United States, said: “Not having dialogue carries unacceptable risks for both sides”, including the risk of “being confused and drawn into conflict over Taiwan”.
The United States even believes that: “China often regards contact with its senior leaders as a reward for obedience, rather than a tool to create stability or resolve differences.” What China actually expressed this time is: “If you want to arrange a meeting, you must accept China’s conditions.”
So U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin said at the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 3: “It is critical to maintain open channels of communication with China, especially among our defense and military leaders.” “Dialogue is not a reward, it is a necessity.” of”.
In addition to the above-mentioned stance, the purpose of the U.S. propaganda is of course to shift all possible responsibilities to China. Not only the U.S. government officials are doing this, but the U.S. media is also doing so.
Therefore, Sino-US relations have entered a dead end. At the same time, the Shangri-La Dialogue will never become a platform for improving Sino-US relations. There is only one effective path for future adjustment of Sino-U.S. relations, and that is Sino-U.S. president diplomacy, and there is no other way.
Difficulty for multinational corporations to leave China
At the same time, a group of well-known entrepreneurs from multinational corporations gathered in China last week and were interviewed by Chinese high-level officials, including Rene Haas, CEO of ARM, a global integrated circuit core design intellectual property provider, and Tesla Elon Musk of Starbucks, Laxman Narasimhan of Starbucks and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan. According to the international media, these entrepreneurs were invited by the Chinese government. However, under the background of the current Sino-US game, the fact that these entrepreneurs can be called at any time, in itself shows that these multinational companies attach great importance to the Chinese market.
Musk received the most lavish reception in China. International media commented: In just two days this week, Musk met with high-level Chinese officials more times than Biden administration officials have in months. Not only did he meet three Chinese ministers and Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Jining, according to Reuters, he was even received by Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China.
In a meeting with Musk last Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reportedly conveyed the Chinese government’s view that a “healthy, stable and constructive” Sino-U.S. relationship is good for both countries and the world. The two countries need to know when to “press the brakes” to avoid “dangerous driving”, when to “step on the gas”, implying that it is time to “step on the brakes” to stop danger, and “step on the gas” to develop cooperation.
In response, Musk said the two countries were “intertwined” and that Tesla opposed “decoupling and breaking (supply) chains.” This is in line with Beijing’s opposition to Western attempts to reduce reliance on Chinese industry.
International media quoted analysts as saying: Even if Beijing really wants Musk to be the special envoy, he is not suitable for this important task. government.
But I am afraid that this statement is not good enough. Red capitalists provide advice to their own governments, as in Soviet Russia in the Lenin era. The more blocked each other, the more valuable these people are.
The international media also quoted Han Lei, who served as director of China Affairs of the National Security Council in the Bush administration and the Obama administration, as saying: “When China talks about seeking stable relations, it is often more about letting the United States reduce its strategic pressure on China.” “They I want the U.S. to stop sanctions and remove export controls.”
Shen Dingli of Fudan University commented on this: “What we want to discuss is how to export to the United States without compromising the national security of the United States, and how the United States can enter the Chinese market while respecting China.”
Western analysts told the international media that although China is still a market that US business executives cannot ignore, their ability to ease geopolitical frictions is limited. For U.S. policymakers, security concerns about China’s hardline military stance and dominance of manufacturing supply chains trump commercial considerations.
The author believes that as long as China does not block the domestic market, China’s attraction to multinational companies is unquestionable, and the more such multinational companies, the greater the ability to balance the above-mentioned policy makers.
(Note: The author is a policy researcher. This article only represents the author’s personal views. The editor’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org)