U.S.-China meeting off to a tense start as Beijing official says relations are in a 'stalemate'

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CNBC 25 July, 2021 - 11:35pm 45 views

BEIJING — Another high-level meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials — this time in the Chinese city of Tianjin, just outside of Beijing — began with criticism.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said during talks Monday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that the two countries' relationship "is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties," according to an English-language press release from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Fundamentally, it is because some Americans portray China as an 'imagined enemy,'" the release said, adding, "We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy."

The statement said, however, China still wanted to work with the U.S., on the condition leaders "change course" and adhere to Chinese interests.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing did not immediately have a comment when contacted by CNBC.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last several years. Former U.S. President Donald Trump used tariffs and sanctions in an attempt to address longstanding criticism against China, such as unequal market access, lack of intellectual property protection and forcing businesses to transfer technology in order to operate in the country.

Sherman is in China for a meeting with her counterparts there Sunday and Monday.

The goal of the meeting was not a negotiation, but an effort to keep high-level communication channels open, senior State Department officials said in a briefing with reporters over the weekend.

The U.S. officials expected to meet with Xie first, and then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi second.

The leaders are expected to work toward the first meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden, likely around the G-20 summit in October.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing Wednesday that Sherman would travel to China "from a position of strength," similar to Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska.

That gathering in March, the first high-level meeting between the two countries under Biden's administration kicked off with an exchange of insults.

In subsequent months, China's Vice Premier Liu He, who led trade negotiations during the Trump administration, held phone calls with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. These economy-focused conversations were more amicable, according to official readouts.

Biden has not only maintained his predecessor Trump's tough position on China, but has criticized Beijing over alleged human rights abuses and is working more with U.S. allies in putting pressure on China overall.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is also set to travel to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, while Blinken will visit India.

Both the U.S. and China "have a lot at stake" in working toward a meeting between Biden and Xi, and will try to show the relationship "is not going completely off the rail" while appearing strong, Michael Hirson, practice head for China and Northeast Asia at Eurasia Group, said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

He said Biden has been able to convince major G-7 countries to make strong statements against China, but has "not yet articulated a trade strategy or another approach that would really be effective in countering China's economic strength."

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U.S.-China meeting off to a tense start as Beijing official says relations are in a 'stalemate'

Times of India 25 July, 2021 - 10:37pm

BEIJING — Another high-level meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials — this time in the Chinese city of Tianjin, just outside of Beijing — began with criticism.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said during talks Monday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that the two countries' relationship "is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties," according to an English-language press release from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Fundamentally, it is because some Americans portray China as an 'imagined enemy,'" the release said, adding, "We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy."

The statement said, however, China still wanted to work with the U.S., on the condition leaders "change course" and adhere to Chinese interests.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing did not immediately have a comment when contacted by CNBC.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last several years. Former U.S. President Donald Trump used tariffs and sanctions in an attempt to address longstanding criticism against China, such as unequal market access, lack of intellectual property protection and forcing businesses to transfer technology in order to operate in the country.

Sherman is in China for a meeting with her counterparts there Sunday and Monday.

The goal of the meeting was not a negotiation, but an effort to keep high-level communication channels open, senior State Department officials said in a briefing with reporters over the weekend.

The U.S. officials expected to meet with Xie first, and then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi second.

The leaders are expected to work toward the first meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden, likely around the G-20 summit in October.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing Wednesday that Sherman would travel to China "from a position of strength," similar to Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska.

That gathering in March, the first high-level meeting between the two countries under Biden's administration kicked off with an exchange of insults.

In subsequent months, China's Vice Premier Liu He, who led trade negotiations during the Trump administration, held phone calls with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. These economy-focused conversations were more amicable, according to official readouts.

Biden has not only maintained his predecessor Trump's tough position on China, but has criticized Beijing over alleged human rights abuses and is working more with U.S. allies in putting pressure on China overall.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is also set to travel to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, while Blinken will visit India.

Both the U.S. and China "have a lot at stake" in working toward a meeting between Biden and Xi, and will try to show the relationship "is not going completely off the rail" while appearing strong, Michael Hirson, practice head for China and Northeast Asia at Eurasia Group, said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

He said Biden has been able to convince major G-7 countries to make strong statements against China, but has "not yet articulated a trade strategy or another approach that would really be effective in countering China's economic strength."

Got a confidential news tip? We want to hear from you.

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox

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Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.

U.S.-China meeting off to a tense start as Beijing official says relations are in a 'stalemate'

Bloomberg 25 July, 2021 - 10:37pm

BEIJING — Another high-level meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials — this time in the Chinese city of Tianjin, just outside of Beijing — began with criticism.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said during talks Monday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that the two countries' relationship "is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties," according to an English-language press release from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Fundamentally, it is because some Americans portray China as an 'imagined enemy,'" the release said, adding, "We urge the United States to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy."

The statement said, however, China still wanted to work with the U.S., on the condition leaders "change course" and adhere to Chinese interests.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing did not immediately have a comment when contacted by CNBC.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last several years. Former U.S. President Donald Trump used tariffs and sanctions in an attempt to address longstanding criticism against China, such as unequal market access, lack of intellectual property protection and forcing businesses to transfer technology in order to operate in the country.

Sherman is in China for a meeting with her counterparts there Sunday and Monday.

The goal of the meeting was not a negotiation, but an effort to keep high-level communication channels open, senior State Department officials said in a briefing with reporters over the weekend.

The U.S. officials expected to meet with Xie first, and then Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi second.

The leaders are expected to work toward the first meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden, likely around the G-20 summit in October.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing Wednesday that Sherman would travel to China "from a position of strength," similar to Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meeting with his Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska.

That gathering in March, the first high-level meeting between the two countries under Biden's administration kicked off with an exchange of insults.

In subsequent months, China's Vice Premier Liu He, who led trade negotiations during the Trump administration, held phone calls with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. These economy-focused conversations were more amicable, according to official readouts.

Biden has not only maintained his predecessor Trump's tough position on China, but has criticized Beijing over alleged human rights abuses and is working more with U.S. allies in putting pressure on China overall.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is also set to travel to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, while Blinken will visit India.

Both the U.S. and China "have a lot at stake" in working toward a meeting between Biden and Xi, and will try to show the relationship "is not going completely off the rail" while appearing strong, Michael Hirson, practice head for China and Northeast Asia at Eurasia Group, said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

He said Biden has been able to convince major G-7 countries to make strong statements against China, but has "not yet articulated a trade strategy or another approach that would really be effective in countering China's economic strength."

Got a confidential news tip? We want to hear from you.

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox

Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. 

Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.

China blames US for ‘stalemate’ in relations, as talks begin

KGET 17 25 July, 2021 - 08:32pm

Security guards watch as a vehicle for the epidemic control center pulls up to the entrance into the Tianjin Binhai No. 1 Hotel where U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to hold talks in Tianjin municipality in China Monday, July 26, 2021. America’s No. 2 diplomat has arrived in China to discuss the fraught relationship between the two countries on Monday with two top Foreign Ministry officials. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng accused the administration of President Joe Biden of trying to contain and suppress China’s development, according to an official summary of his remarks to visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The fundamental reason why relations between the two face serious difficulties is because some Americans portray China as an “imagined enemy,” the Foreign Ministry quoted Xie as saying.

Sherman, America’s No. 2 diplomat, is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit China since Biden took office six months ago. She was having separate meetings with Xie, who is in charge of U.S.-China relations, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a closed-off resort hotel in the city of Tianjin.

Relations between the countries deteriorated sharply under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, and the two sides remain at odds over a host of issues including technology, cybersecurity, human rights and other issues.

Xie said China wants to seek common ground while shelving differences. The Biden administration has said it will cooperate in some areas but confront China in others, such as human rights, describing the relationship as collaborative, competitive and adversarial.

In an interview Saturday, Wang accused the U.S. of adopting a superior attitude and using its strength to pressure other countries.

“China would never accept any country that claims to be superior to others,” he told China’s Phoenix Television. “If the U.S. has not learned to treat other countries equally, China and the international community have the responsibility to help the U.S. learn how to do this.”

Biden administration officials have said the goal of the talks is not to negotiate specific issues but to keep high-level communications channels open. The U.S. wants to ensure that guardrails are in place to prevent competition between the countries from becoming conflict, they said.

A possible meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to be on the agenda, possibly on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Rome at the end of October.

Sherman, who arrived Sunday evening from Mongolia, tweeted “heartfelt condolences (from the United States) to those who have lost loved ones” in severe storms and flooding last week that killed at least 63 people in Henan province.

Her meetings follow an initial and highly contentious meeting in March in Anchorage, Alaska, where Wang and veteran Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi flew to meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special climate envoy, traveled to Shanghai for meetings with his Chinese counterpart in April.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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