WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

US-China Relations Deterioration: Assessing the Aftermath of Blinken’s Unfruitful Visit

US-China Relations Deterioration

Blinken’s visit to China failed to achieve any breakthrough, and US-China relations went from a sharp decline to a steady deterioration

Washington — The recent visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China ended with no major breakthroughs achieved on key issues, signaling a trend toward stabilizing relations between the two countries. Despite discussions emphasizing partnership over rivalry and calls for peace and stability, underlying tensions over Taiwan, the South China Sea, technology controls, and trade disputes continue to strain the relationship.

The US is considering trade measures against China, including potential tariffs and controls on semiconductor technology, while expressing concerns about China’s aid to Russia. Geopolitical scholars suggest a return to geopolitical blocs, with potential conflicts impacting the US, China, and Russia. Despite efforts to soften the tone, the relationship between the US and China remains uncertain and strained.

Key Concepts

  • US-China relations have stabilized, but underlying tensions persist.
  • No major breakthroughs were achieved during Secretary Blinken’s visit to China.
  • Tensions remain over Taiwan, the South China Sea, technology controls, and trade disputes.
  • China has softened its tone but remains firm on key issues.
  • The US is considering trade measures against China, including tariffs and technology controls.
  • Secretary Blinken warned China about aiding Russia and the potential consequences.
  • Sino-Russian relations are expected to continue strengthening despite US criticism.

Although no breakthroughs were achieved on major issues, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ended his three-day visit to China in a relatively mild atmosphere on Friday (April 26), the first since 2022. It is the latest sign of stabilizing relations since then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and the U.S. shot down a Chinese spy balloon early last year.

However, analysts pointed out that Blinken’s trip also highlighted that although the relationship between the two countries seems to have stabilized, it does not mean that differences will no longer expand and deepen. On the contrary, relations between the two countries have been steadily deteriorating.

“It’s clear that the two sides have very little in common on substantive issues,” said Allen Carlson, a professor of international relations at Cornell University.

From tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea to U.S. technology controls, trade disputes, and the war between Ukraine and Russia, the United States and China are currently facing a series of major differences, and they seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Blinken’s recent speech A second visit this year also failed to bring any significant breakthroughs.

MUST READ: ☞  Pope Francis Expresses AI Concerns at Historic G7 Summit

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday (April 26) that the two sides reached a five-point consensus during Blinken’s visit. In addition to reiterating principled positions such as strengthening communication and striving to stabilize and develop relations, the specific results only included the determination to hold an artificial intelligence dialogue. The first meeting and a high-level tourism dialogue will be held next month.

China is softening its tone

At Friday’s meeting, Xi Jinping remained seated in the center, flanked by senior diplomatic officials from both countries, as he did during Blinken’s first visit to China last June, but his message appeared to have been relatively soft.

“The two countries should be partners, not opponents.” Xi Jinping said that both sides should “value peace and stability.”

During Blinken’s trip, he held a five-hour meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, which both sides described as “substantive and constructive.” Blinken’s last trip to China happened shortly after the United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon. Wang Yi criticized at the time that the relationship between the two countries was at a low point, and the root cause was the United States. “The United States needs to reflect deeply” and asked the United States to stop hyping the “China Threat Theory.”

In another meeting in Jakarta shortly thereafter, Wang Yi continued to demand that the United States should not “arbitrarily” interfere in China’s internal affairs, lift illegal and “unreasonable” sanctions against China, and require the United States to “deeply reflect”.

The media reported at the time that Wang Yi had heated words during a three-hour meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, directly blaming Washington for the tensions. Xi Jinping himself signaled China’s displeasure to Blinken, saying: “Exchanges between countries should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity.”

During Blinken’s trip to China this week, although China also raised a series of thorny issues such as Taiwan and economic sanctions that were often involved in previous meetings, the tone seemed to have clearly softened. In Chinese official reports on Xi Jinping and Wang Yi, strong language such as “wanton” and “solemn” are no longer visible. Instead, it is said that the relationship between the two countries has shown a trend of “stabilization” and it is hoped that the two sides can “each other” achieve, not hurt each other, and not “return to the downward spiral”.

MUST READ: ☞  How did China assist Russia in its war in Ukraine?

The media said on Friday that Chinese officials showed a softer approach than during Blinken’s last visit, showing signs that relations between the two countries have stabilized in recent months.

From sharp decline to steady deterioration

However, on the other side of this seemingly “stabilizing” and easing atmosphere are the growing core differences between the two countries and the deterioration of their deep-seated relations. While relations are not plummeting, the United States is increasing its efforts to counter China.

Just before Blinken’s visit to China, the U.S. Congress passed a number of China-related bills, including the aid bill for Taiwan. The Wall Street Journal recently quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the United States is formulating a draft of sanctions that threatens to cut off some Chinese banks from the global financial system. The connection is unprecedentedly strong.

The United States also said last week that it may launch a number of trade measures against China, including increasing import tariffs on Chinese steel, solar panels, and other products.

To the already seemingly piling up of contentious issues between the United States and China, China’s production capacity issues have recently been added. Before Blinken’s departure, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen once again stated that the Biden administration would not rule out any options to deal with China’s industrial overcapacity.

Just hours before Blinken arrived in China on Wednesday, President Biden also signed a bipartisan bill that includes new military aid to Taiwan and the sale of ByteDance, the parent company of the U.S. version of TikTok, in China. business, otherwise it will be disabled.

A media report on Friday said that while Blinken’s visit to China had a friendly tone and relations appeared to be becoming more stable, the Biden administration is still pursuing tougher economic ties with China that would include controls on semiconductor technology. The Biden administration has been considering further export controls.

On the issue of China’s aid to Russia, Blinken made it clear that the United States is seriously concerned about China’s supply of products to Russia, including machine tools, microelectronics, etc., and warned that if China does not change its ways, the United States and its allies are ready to take action. “We have already imposed sanctions and export controls on more than 100 Chinese entities, and we are fully prepared to take action and take additional measures,” Blinken said at a press conference on Friday. “If China doesn’t solve this problem, we will.”

MUST READ: ☞  The war in Ukraine strengthens European Union unity, will it last?

Zeno Leoni, an academic at King’s College London, said Blinken’s trip was unlikely to produce any real results. The geopolitical scholar pointed out in a recent paper (The Return of Geopolitical Blocs) that the world order is returning to the old path of returning to geopolitical blocs.

He said in an email to the media that, in this context, people are worried that conflicts in Europe and the Middle East will have a domino effect and drag down the three countries of the United States, China, and Russia. Blinken’s trip comes at a time when Blinken criticized China for supporting Russia at a time of heightened tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

However, there are signs that Sino-Russian relations are likely to continue to strengthen. As Blinken criticized Chinese aid, Putin on Thursday announced plans to visit China next month.

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Thursday as saying that Russia and China have recently strengthened cooperation in many areas, which has made the United States “extremely angry”, and “I think Beijing fully understands this and does not. “We will pretend to be willing to reach any agreement with the Americans on issues that harm Russia’s interests.”

A media report said that the serious differences between the United States and China on a series of important issues show no signs of being eased or resolved. Even issues such as how to solve overcapacity and avoid exports of cheap goods in China are difficult to form. consensus. The report pointed out that it may be easier for both sides to make progress only on pragmatic and specific topics such as people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

Cornell University’s Carlson said in an email to the media that neither side wants an open conflict, but at the same time, the gap between interests remains wide, and China may think it is strong enough now. There is a need to no longer give in to the United States on issues involving the country’s core interests, “so both sides are talking about a cooperative relationship, but neither Beijing nor Washington seems willing (or able) to make concessions that would really make the relationship stronger.”

Leave a Comment

WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now