Blows were exchanged on both sides of the triangle. First, the Americans and the Chinese took off their masks for a moment with an obligatory diplomatic smile and theatrically threw themselves at each other during the meeting in Alaska. A few days later, the European Union announced sanctions against China, and the Americans joined them, among others. The federation caused a sensation in Beijing.
Either way, the Chinese have reacted not only to escalating sanctions (on a broader scale than EU sanctions), but even with theatrical discontent. For example, they began to refer to Germany the Holocaust, which is the denial of their moral right to criticize their contemporaries. chin. This type of backlash is largely designed to meet internal needs. Marcin Przyتشudnyak, an expert at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, explains that the official line of the Chinese Communist Party is that China has risen from its knees, that its system is better, and that Western democracies have no right to guide it.
Americans indicate what they mean
The first exchange of strikes took place last Thursday in Alaska, where it was the first formal meeting of senior Chinese officials and United States of America Under Governments Joe Biden. This was the last point on the path of the Americans who had previously toured a number of major countries in Asia, and in many places discussed the topic of their rivalry with China. The diplomatic meeting in Alaska began immediately with a rare non-diplomatic exchange.
The Americans have clearly indicated that the new presidential administration will not significantly change its policy toward China. The Chinese previously tried to indicate that it was possible, but now it turns out that it is not so – they establish the clinic.
The Americans were the first to make an introductory statement to reporters to put pressure on the Chinese. They mentioned, among other things, the issue of respect for human rights in China, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, and the violation of trade rules. Of course, we learned, when we started this meeting, that there are a number of topics on which we differ fundamentally. So it should come as no surprise that when we touched on these topics in a direct way, we met with such a response, as Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State later said.
“Such an answer” is a 15-minute sermon by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Exceeds the 2-minute introductory word limit. He accused the Americans, among other things, of having problems with human rights and of trying to spread their ideology around the world by force. Blinken, who did not want to leave it unanswered, stated that “it is never a good thing to stand against America”.
– Most importantly, although there was a sharp exchange of views publicly, the negotiations were conducted according to the art of diplomacy – the clinic notes. After the meeting, Minister Jiechi insisted that the exchange was “sincere, constructive and beneficial.” Of course, there are important differences between us. China will firmly defend its independence, security and interests. He said after the meeting broadcast on Chinese state television that the development and growing strength in China cannot be stopped.
The Americans also seemed happy, because that’s what they meant. They wanted to establish proper relations with China in the near future. The Americans may not want much in confrontation, but they make it clear that it is where the competition will be needed. Any improvement in the relationship depends on whether the Chinese meet a number of their expectations, for example in relation to Hong Kong, Taiwan or commercial matters, says the PISM expert.
The European Union also wants to show something
Brussels launched its plane on Monday. Sanctions were announced for 11 people and entities Involved in gross violations of Uyghur minority rightsBlinken advocated the genocide, among other things. This is the first European Union punishment against China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Its meaning is mostly symbolic, but as China’s reaction shows, they have reached a weak point.
Chinese MSZ In a harsh statement, he described the sanctions as “a flagrant violation of international law” and announced escalation or retaliatory Chinese sanctions. These included five members of the European Parliament involved in Uyghur affairs, as well as several European NGOs that are investigating how Chinese authorities have systematically destroyed the Muslim minority living on the western edge of China.
Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States announced similar measures within hours of the European Union announcing the sanctions. – Most likely it happened in some format, – says Przychodniak. Thus, the West showed unity. This is especially important in the context of Europe’s relations with the United States, which have been severely damaged in recent months by the negotiation of an investment agreement between the European Union and China. The United States was very skeptical about it from the start. at Washington Brussels has been accused of focusing on money, closing its eyes to the threats posed by China.
The sanctions are a signal to the Biden administration and an attempt to show that the European Union cares not only about business, but also values. Przychodnyak says the European Commission, which has recently been widely criticized for being overly pro-China, can now counter criticism with it. Criticism of the investment agreement, which aims to facilitate investment in China, is not limited to European companies in China, it is only the United States. There were many voices of dissent in the European Union itself.
According to Przychodniak, the exchange of blows in the form of penalties should have significantly complicated the future of the decade. This has yet to be negotiated, but it has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament, among others. A person whose members were sanctioned by China for their excessive involvement in the Uyghur issue. – However, I will not put a boycott on the investment agreement yet, because the certification process may take another year, and the sanctions themselves are not a breakthrough here – Przyshudnyak says.
Business will be business, but politics …
The exchange of beats over the past few days clearly shows which direction the world is headed. Because there is no doubt that China’s rivalry with the United States and the generally understood West will define it for a long time.
Recent events such as the trial of two former Canadian diplomats in China also show this. Both were arrested on espionage charges in 2018, an apparent act of retaliation for the arrest, shortly before, of Meng Wanzhou, vice president of Huawei, by Canada. The Canadians did so at the request of the Americans, who accused it of being involved in breaching sanctions against Iran and stealing industrial secrets. Both Canadians are currently on trial. Contrary to international law, the Chinese have forbidden foreign diplomats from observing the proceedings. Representatives of 26 countries, in turn, tried to enter the Beijing court on Monday, but were also fired. Wanzhou was released on bail not long after her arrest. Her case is nearing the end.
Clear signals are also being sent to China in the military sphere. In recent months, the American fleet has been exceptionally active near China. By conducting major exercises, among other things, with the participation of two aircraft carriers in the disputed South China Sea. Several European countries also announced their support for the Americans in this field. In 2020, the French sent a nuclear submarine there and declared that they would not leave the Western allies in the region without support. In early March, the Germans announced that they would send a mission frigate to the South China Sea. The British announced that their new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will soon embark on its first long-running patrol and reach the disputed waters within a few months.
Thus, the future of China’s relationship with the West appears to be a split personality. On the one hand, competition has increased in the political and military dimensions, but on the other hand, economic cooperation is inevitable that no one will want to break.