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American and Chinese Top Diplomats Met in Luxemburg,  Talking about A Variety of Significant Topics

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and China Communist Party’s Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission General Office Yang Jiechi met in Luxemburg on June 13 for around four and half hours. They discussed a variety of significant topics, including the Taiwan issue, the Russia-Ukraine War, and the global food, energy, and economic crisis.


The meeting is the fourth physical one between them. Before that, they have met in Anchorage, Zurich, and Rome, and had two phone calls.


While their first meeting in Anchorage, U.S.A is rude and hot, the recent three meetings are rather low-profile. Both sides seem to be reluctant to let people know and release a very limited amount of information after meetings, making outsiders wonder whether they are talking about some extremely sensitive topics.


For the meeting in Luxemburg, the White House only released a 77-words readout and commented it was “candid, substantive, and productive.”


The Chinese side held the same general comments about the meeting but released more information about the Taiwan Issue.


According to the report from Xinhua News, Yang said in the meeting that the Taiwan issue is the political cornerstone of Sino-U.S. Relations. If not handled properly, the Taiwan Issue could make subversive effects on Sino-U.S. Relations.


In response, Sullivan reiterated America’s One-China stance but expressed concerns about Beijing’s threat to Taipei and its fast-growing influence in Asia.


The most important diverge in this meeting is Yang refused to define the Beijing-Washington Relationship as “competitive.”


Yang claimed that President Biden had reiterated in his video meeting with President Xi in May 2022 that the United States had no intention to change mainland China’s regime and support the Taiwan Independence Movement.


However, the White House neither agreed nor disagreed with Yang’s claim in May. Taiwanese authorities directly declined Yang’s words. “There is no such thing in the clear message we receive from the U.S.,” said Chen Mingtong, the Taiwanese security top official. The Taiwanese Vice Ministry of Defense further said “this is CCP’s ‘recognition war toward us.”


On the contrary, Jake Sullivan thought Washington should compete while collaborate with Beijing. He also warned Beijing do not support Russia by giving it any substantial support or helping it to escape from sanctions.


Despite the diverge, the meeting in Luxemburg gives out some positive signals. Firstly, this is “the softest” one compared with all the previous meetings. It seems that both sides need the other to do something for them. The Biden administration needs China to cope with its soaring inflation rates and shrinking supply chain. The Xi government needs the investment from the U.S. to restart its quarantine-burdened economy.


Secondly, the meeting itself indicates that Washington and Beijing still want to talk with each other, although there are so many diverges. In other words, even if no consensus can be made, more and more meetings between Washington and Beijing itself is a good thing.


Some people in the White House are also happy to see meetings happen. A senior American official told CNN that he “sees additional potential meetings in the months ahead,” though they said nothing is currently being planned between Biden and Xi.


Moreover, CNN believed that this meeting is paving the way for the physical meeting between Biden and Xi. This guess is not groundless because four days after Sullivan and Yang’s meeting in Rome, Biden and Xi had a video meeting on May 18, 2022.


With Beijing looses its policies on quarantine and international transportation, it is reasonable to believe that a physical meeting between head and head will soon happen. The world needs to know what these world two great powers are thinking about each other and other international topics.


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