Diana Choyleva

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US China relations: Diplomats meet – and talk past each other

Well, at least they met? After political and protocol wrangling symbolic of the troubled relations between China and the USA, Wendy Sherman, the US Deputy Secretary of State, was permitted to visit Tianjin from July 25-26, and meet her counterparts. And the meetings lived down to expectations. This article is a summary of important US China news in July 2021. The State Department at one point cancelled the China leg of Sherman’s Asia trip. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng set out lists of remedial actions that Washington must take to get relations back on track. The US should not challenge, smear and seek to subvert China’s socialist system with Chinese characteristics, should not interrupt China’s development or interfere in its sovereignty, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told her. A day later, in Singapore, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington did not seek a military clash with China but would challenge China’s…

US China Relations: Biden Assembles United Front Against Beijing

No time-out for tensions in the US-China relationship On his European diplomatic blitz, President Joe Biden made countering China a core part of discussions, and joint statements, with the G7, NATO and the EU. Beijing created new legal tools to retaliate against US sanctions, which put global firms in the crosshairs of their conflict. This article is a summary of important US China news in June 2021. Major democracies rallied together “to issue extraordinary back-to-back rebukes of Beijing, marking a shift toward collective action and pushing back against Xi Jinping’s strategies to position China as a global leader,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. China’s Foreign Ministry rejected the two statements as the misguided work of “small circles” and primarily the US. The G7’s Build Back Better World initiative (B3W) to counter Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative was welcomed by countries in China’s immediate orbit of influence, but must overcome doubts…

This Party Keeps on Rocking

Xi Jinping spoke to China and the world from the balcony of Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate, on the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding Wearing a grey buttoned-up Mao suit, just like the Chairman himself on the same spot back in 1949, Xi Jinping spoke to China and the world from the balcony of Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate, on the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding. There was no mistaking this is Xi’s stage now – his fellow leaders wore western business suits and ties. As head of a 95 million-member organisation, Xi emphasised the Party’s role in bringing China to global prominence, and said it would never be divided from the people. China will not allow itself to be bullied and anyone who tries will “have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of Steel forged by the flesh and blood of over 1.4bn Chinese people”. He said China had restored order in…

US China Relations: Competition Replaces the Era of Engagement

The top trade negotiators from the US and China held their first telephone call of the Joe Biden presidency, and stressed the importance of improving trade ties. But the rest of the bilateral relationship remained deeply troubled, with defence chiefs failing to talk, and Beijing angry at Biden ordering an investigation into the origins of Covid-19. This article is a summary of important US China news in May 2021. Get used to these ongoing tensions, advised Kurt Campbell, the US coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council. “The period that was broadly described as engagement has come to an end,” he said, as US policy towards China will now operate under a “new set of strategic parameters”, and “the dominant paradigm is going to be competition”. One area of potential optimism is trade, after US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and China’s Vice Premier Liu He had “candid” and “constructive”…

China’s Mounting Military Threat to Taiwan

China’s ever-growing military might makes the possibility of armed conflict over Taiwan the biggest geopolitical risk facing investors. That declaration will strike many as alarmist. To be clear, we are not saying that an increasingly assertive China has made its mind up to bring about reunification with the self-ruled island by force. An amphibious invasion is the most hazardous of military operations. Success is not assured. What we are saying is that China’s current strategy of attrition through endless provocative incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone and naval exercises in the waters around the island heightens the risk of an accident or unintended manoeuvre that could easily escalate, especially if the US is dragged in. Recall the long, tense stand-off that followed the collision between a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet off Hainan island in 2001. Thankfully, a military confrontation was avoided then. Next time we might…

US China Relations: Bills, Boats and a “Battle for the Century”

After 100 days as US President, Joe Biden showed little sign of backing down from a tough stance towards an equally stubborn Beijing that has kept tensions high in US China relations. The USA is “in competition with China” to “win the 21st century”, Biden told Congress. With stepped-up US reconnaissance in the disputed South China Sea, and a major bill to counter China in the Senate, only climate change appeared a promising area for co-operation. This article is a summary of important US China news in April 2021. It will be a high-stakes, high-tech battle, said Biden. “China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future.” While they looked old school to non-experts, the three high-tech, world-class warships Xi Jinping commissioned on 23 April confirmed China’s ambitious naval expansion, military modernisation and preparation to take the island of…

How to Invest in China’s Stock Market

When shares in an elevator company go limit up because it has the same name as a new adviser to Xi Jinping, there can be little doubt that China’s stock market is a casino. But that would be to jump to the wrong conclusion. True, the Chinese equity market is far from perfect and reform is piecemeal. But it is becoming more professional, less prone to heavy-handed micro-management by the Party-state and of growing interest to overseas equity investors. So here is our take on what foreign investors should know about China’s stock market if they invest in it. Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges After a 40-year hiatus, the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges reopened in 1990. Today they list around 4,000 companies. State-owned enterprises long dominated the new listings, but in the past decade the two bourses have become a cradle for the sort of innovative technology companies that China…

Democracy vs Autocracy: Biden Sets Out Challenge of US China Relations

Comparing Xi Jinping to Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden warned this month of “a battle between the utility of democracies in the 21st century and autocracies. That’s what’s at stake here. We’ve got to prove democracy works.” Fireworks at the first bilateral meeting of the Biden era underscored the great challenges facing US China relations. This article is a summary of important US China news so far in March 2021. “I see stiff competition with China,” Biden said at his first press conference as president. “They have an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world. That’s not going to happen on my watch, because United States is going to continue to grow and expand.” In Anchorage, Alaska, the top diplomats of both nations levelled sharp rebukes of the others’ policies in a rare public display highlighting…

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