Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 8 News List

US-China ties are on shaky ground

By Parris Chang 張旭成

Xi and Wang Qishan (王岐山) — a close ally of Xi’s who is to become Chinese vice president — have both met with US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, a close ally of Trump, hoping to reverse US hostility toward China.

Xi has also sent Chinese Communist Party member and soon-to-be vice-premier Liu He (劉鶴) to Washington to try to save the US-China relationship and alleviate the threat of a US-China trade war.

Beijing has issued 31 “measures to benefit the people” in an attempt to lure Taiwanese to China, which is motivated by the abject failure of China’s policy of “unification by force,” which has caused resentment among Taiwanese and sparked a backlash from Washington.

In response, the US Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 and the Taiwan Travel Act, which are designed to upgrade US-Taiwan defense cooperation and the US-Taiwan diplomatic relationship, and counter the Chinese military threat.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has displayed considerable political agility in facilitating North Korea’s participation in last month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and is pushing for deeper reconciliation with the North. In doing so, Moon has completely excluded Beijing from its traditional role as a go-between.

The international community originally believed Beijing possessed significant influence over Pyongyang, but China has been marginalized. It is another setback for the diplomacy of a nation that aspires to be a great power.

Parris Chang is a former deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council.

Translated by Edward Jones

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