Chinese, US diplomats set to meet

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/17 22:33:40

Trump administration desperately needs to fix ties: analysts

China US Photo:Global Times

China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were reportedly due to meet in the US state of Hawaii on Wednesday, which would be the first meeting between such senior officials since the two nations signed the phase one trade deal in January.

The meeting comes amid fast-worsening China-US ties in the first half of 2020.

Yang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, would meet Pompeo as the latter is trying to ease tensions between the world's two largest economies over various issues, Reuters reported on June 13.

Many details, including the meeting venue and timing, showed that the requirements were proposed by the US side as the meeting will happen in Hawaii in the US rather than a Chinese city or a third country, and Yang will meet Pompeo at the request of the US side. 

This showed that the US desperately needs to fix its ties with China, said Chinese experts.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Trump administration is now aware that the blame game against China is not saving its approval rating, because more and more Americans now have realized that it was the incompetence of their government that caused their problems, including the spread of coronavirus pandemic and nationwide riots.

Diao Daming, an expert on China-US relations at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "the US is making the right choice to take the initiative to fix the worsening bilateral ties, which is in line with the interests of both countries, as well as the expectations of the international community under the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."

"In January, as we learn from the US side, Trump wanted US-China ties be stable this year and that's why he desperately signed the phase one deal with us. Before the outbreak got out of control in the US, Trump even praised China's efforts to fight COVID-19. 

"But he suddenly changed his stance after finding that he can't control the domestic outbreak," he noted.

In a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on February 7, Trump said the US has confidence in China's economic growth.

He said that Washington will calmly look at and respond to the epidemic, and is willing to maintain communication and cooperation with China through bilateral and WHO channels, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

However, after the situation worsened in the US, the Trump administration totally changed its stance and started to play a blame game against China to cover up its own failure in handling the pandemic. 

Trump even called COVID-19 a "Chinese virus" to provoke China from racist and discriminatory perspectives. Afterward, the US started to blame the WHO, and even announced plans to withdraw from the WHO in May.

The tactics to stigmatize and blame China were working to some extent. But with the worsening epidemic and the death of more than 116,000 people, plus nationwide riots sparked by the death of an African-American, the effectiveness of scapegoating China is disappearing as more angry US citizens blame the White House rather than Beijing, Lü said.

"So at this moment, it would be an option for Trump to ease domestic pressure by showing some achievements in foreign affairs, and easing tension with China would be a good one," Lü said.

For the US now, there is nothing more important than the economy, and if China-US ties continue to worsen, the phase one deal would be a "mission impossible" for the two sides to implement, so Trump desperately needs to ease tension with China, Lü said.

Analysts believe that as long as the US shows the will to improve the worsening bilateral ties, China would welcome it, since China has no intension to continue this confrontation.

Some illegal anti-government activists in Hong Kong who expect the US to "liberate" them from China's sovereignty will be very sad, disappointed and nervous at the moment, Lü noted, adding that since China firmly passed the national security law for Hong Kong, these separatists would get betrayed by the US to win China's cooperation in other fields, such as buying more US products.  

Other countries that closely follow the US to confront China, such as Australia, should learn that they could also "be betrayed by" the Trump administration since the US needs China to help it, Lü said.

These countries and individuals need to learn that the US at present will just use you, but will never save or help you, he added.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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