CHina’s Deputy Foreign Minister Xi Feng read out to his U.S. spokesman a list of demands that his employer had already made in Alaska in March. The United States should lift all sanctions against Chinese officials, demanding extradition against the Hawaiian manager Meng Wanjo Remove visa restrictions against members of the Communist Party and against students in certain fields, allowing the United States, China, Confucius and state media to operate freely. Ji Feng said after meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in the Chinese port city of Tianjin that these are the preconditions for normalizing relations with the United States.
Admittedly, no one expected definitive results at the end of Sherman’s trip to China. The State Department said the purpose of the meeting was to “open up communication channels at the highest level.” Negotiations are important to “reduce the risk of misunderstandings” and to set up “safety rails” so that competition with China does not go into conflict, a senior foreign ministry official said in advance. So when Sherman landed in Tianjin on Sunday the expectation was not high. Her spokesmen invited her there because no political representatives are currently being received in the Chinese capital due to the epidemic.
After John Kerry, Special Envoy for Climate Change, Sherman is only the second highest-ranking representative in the presidential government. Joe BidenTravel to China. Best of all, your visit is an interim step towards Biden’s first meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Xi Jinping. In Beijing, a possible date has been set for the G-20 summit to be held in Italy at the end of October.
After Xi Feng, Sherman met with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He had already announced that he wanted to teach America a lesson. “If the United States has not yet learned to treat other nations equally, it is our job to present a seminar to the United States on this.” Wang Yi could not give any words because China’s most senior foreign politician set the tone for Yang Jiechi in Alaska in March. During that time he delivered a 16-minute speech to Secretary of State Anthony Blingen and Defense Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Biden increases pressure on China
Wang could not go back to Yi. Otherwise he would have been accused of being a sissy in his own country. Since Sherman is only deputy foreign minister, he has left his external communications to his fifth vice president, Xi Feng. He accused the United States of demonizing his country. According to a State Department statement, Xi said that “some Americans” would turn China into an “imaginary enemy” to cover up problems and differences in their own country. That is why the relationship between China and the United States is at a standstill.
At the same time, Xi Feng also indicated that he wants to prevent an uncontrolled increase in Beijing relations. A stable relationship is in the interests of both sides, and China wants to work with the United States, he said. In Beijing’s view, there were also talks about paving the way for an initial meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. This will help underline the reputation that the Chinese president has carefully nurtured domestically as a politician.
Sherman wrote on Twitter that he had spoken with Xi Feng about the “climate crisis, our serious concerns about Govt-19 and China’s actions on both sides of the Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan Straits.” He stressed the US commitment to healthy competition for Wang Yi.
Before they landed, Sherman tried to make the visit a little more friendly by expressing American condolences to the families of the victims of the Henan floods. More than 60 people were killed in the severe weather event. However, the gesture was assessed because the State Department had incorrectly twice mentioned the name of the affected province as Hunan at a press conference.
Since taking office, President Biden has sought to increase pressure on China through concerted action with allies. Beijing is particularly concerned that NATO has recently issued a number of comments about China. Beijing is closely monitoring cooperation between the United States, India, Japan and Australia. The leadership is angry that Biden, unmoved by Chinese threats, has stepped up cooperation with Taiwan and, like his predecessor Donald Trump, is making extensive use of sanctions. Shortly before Sherman’s arrival, Beijing announced its sanctions against US politicians and organizations.
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