U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (left) and South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (right) attend the “2+2” meeting between the U.S. and South Korean foreign ministers and defense officials in Seoul on March 18.
On March 18, Secretary of State Blinken is scheduled to meet with National Security Advisor Sullivan in Alaska on his way back to Washington from a trip to Japan and South Korea to discuss five issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, his position on Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the Communist Party’s economic embargo on Australia. The five topics discussed included the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, stance on Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the CCP’s economic embargo on Australia. I wrote a few days ago that the location and timing of the meeting, as well as Blinken’s tough stance on the issues discussed at the meeting, indicated that the trip between Yang and Wang would not go well.
However, whether it was because it did not want to miss the meeting or because Beijing was confident that it could convince the Biden administration to change its hard-line policy toward the CCP, Beijing publicly confirmed Yang and Wang’s trip even after the U.S. side made its stance clear, and the CCP’s Global Times published an analysis on March 11 expressing cautious optimism about the meeting.
The article quoted Chinese experts as saying that the U.S. and China are expected to further clarify the “general framework” of bilateral relations, i.e., discussing which “baskets” of confrontation, competition and cooperation to put issues such as high-tech, the South China Sea, Taiwan, economic and trade, epidemics and climate change into. Experts also believe that the meeting may be more likely to achieve a substantive outcome than the specific issues is the restoration and establishment of the Sino-US exchange mechanism. This is because the more than 100 regular exchange mechanisms between the U.S. and China under Obama have been scaled back to 10 in the late Trump administration.
However, the slightest hint of cautious optimism that Beijing authorities had about the meeting probably disappeared with the high-level meetings and joint statements issued by the U.S.-Japan and U.S.-South Korea, and with the latest sanctions issued by the U.S. State Department against 24 senior Chinese and Hong Kong officials, and an exasperated Beijing once again reverted to its “War Wolf” face, calling out the U.S. and Japan for “This has made Yang Jiechi’s visit to Wang Yi incredibly embarrassing.
Why can’t Beijing tolerate it even for a few days and has to rebuke the US and Japan before the meeting? Apparently, the immediate reason is the joint statement and press conference delivered by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin after their meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshichika Mogi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on March 16, which poked the lungs of the Chinese Communist authorities.
The joint statement began by re-emphasizing that “the U.S.-Japan alliance remains the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” that Japan will “further strengthen the alliance,” and that the United States “will defend Japan through the full range of capabilities, including nuclear The U.S. “will steadfastly defend Japan through the full range of its capabilities, including nuclear”.
Second, on the issue of the Chinese Communist threat to the region, the U.S. and Japan both agreed that “Chinese (Communist) behavior is inconsistent with the existing international order and poses political, economic, military, and technological challenges to the alliance and the international community” and pledged to “oppose coercive and destabilizing behavior by other countries in the region, which undermines the rule-based approach. Such behavior undermines the rules-based international system”, expressed serious concern about the maritime police law that allows the Chinese Communist Party to use force, opposed unilateral actions that seek to change Japan’s administration of the Diaoyu Islands and other islands, stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, opposed China’s (CCP) illegal maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea, expressed serious concern about the human rights in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region situation.
The U.S. and Japan agreed to deepen defense cooperation in all areas, including space and cyber, and to consult on strengthening extended deterrence through the alliance’s role, mission, and capabilities.
In addition, on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Japan believe it poses a threat to international peace and stability and urged Pyongyang to comply with its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions, among other things. The U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers also pledged to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and strongly support the centrality and unity of ASEAN and its Indo-Pacific Vision.
Clearly, the core of the statement was how the U.S. and Japan should respond to the growing threat to the region from the Chinese Communist Party. And in the press conference that followed, addressing the CCP threat remained a central theme. In response to questions from reporters, Austin re-emphasized that “the Chinese Communist Party is a major threat that we at the Department of Defense will continue to focus on” and that “my job is to make sure that we are prepared as quickly as possible to meet any challenges that we or our allies may face. The U.S. also condemned the increasingly aggressive military actions of the Chinese Communist Party in the region as “coercive and aggressive” and “destabilizing.
Undoubtedly, the U.S. and Japan have once again sent a strong signal to Beijing: the Chinese Communist Party is in violation of the international order and poses a threat to the international community; the U.S. and Japan do not agree with what the Chinese Communist Party is doing in the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang; and if the Chinese Communist Party wants to provoke in the Indo-Pacific region, the U.S. will not stand by and will join its allies to counter it.
After Japan’s strong signal to Beijing, Blinken and Austin flew to South Korea to meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and South Korean Defense Minister Seo Wook on March 17.
Blinken again reiterated that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged in “coercion and aggression” in the international arena and expressed a strong criticism. On North Korea, Blinken said Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs pose a threat to the region and the world. “We will continue to work with South Korea and other allies and partners, such as Japan, to denuclearize North Korea.”
Austin and Seo Wook, for their part, specifically discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korean movements, the transfer of wartime combat command, and South Korea-U.S.-Japan security cooperation programs, and pledged U.S. support, including a nuclear umbrella. Austin also raised the issue of trilateral security cooperation between the ROK, the U.S. and Japan, emphasizing the improvement of ROK-Japan relations to promote ROK-US-Japan cooperation to jointly address security threats in Northeast Asia, the Korean Peninsula and the Indo-Pacific region.
Before Beijing could digest the impact of the Perfect Day statement, it received news that the U.S., South Korea and Japan would cooperate to address the threat posed by China and North Korea, and that Beijing’s fantasy of resuming the “four-party talks” or “six-party talks” to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue had been completely rejected by the U.S., Japan and South Korea. In other words, the United States has now completely denied the Chinese Communist Party’s status as a legitimate proxy in the Asia-Pacific region. How can this not make Beijing feel bad?
Perhaps what Beijing did not expect was that on March 16, also before the high-level diplomatic meeting between the United States and China, the State Department officially released a document “Update on the Status of Foreigners Involved in Undermining China’s Obligations under the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law,” which named and sanctioned 14 Chinese Communist Party members, including 14 vice chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The document names 24 senior Chinese and Hong Kong officials, including 14 vice chairmen of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Blinken also said that foreign financial institutions would be sanctioned if they knowingly conducted “significant business dealings” with the individuals mentioned in the report.
The report was released at the same Time as Blinken’s visit, but he still did not forget to push for sanctions against the Chinese Communist Party. Or is it an indirect way of telling Beijing not to hold out any hope for the Alaska talks?
Still before Yang and Wang flew to Alaska, the White House trade adviser under the Trump Administration, Navarro, in an interview with Newsmax, directly referred to the Wuhan Virus Institute as the “Wuhan Biological Weapons Laboratory” and explicitly stated that the virus almost certainly came from this laboratory. In an interview with FoxNews.com, former State Department senior investigator Arthur also said that the Wuhan Institute was not a health research facility, but a biochemical weapons development facility for the Chinese Communist military.
Against the backdrop of the above perceptions being accepted by more governments in Europe and the United States, I fear it will be very difficult for Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi to justify the CCP in spreading the Epidemic and to cooperate with the United States in controlling it.
The message conveyed by Blinken’s and Austin’s visits to Japan and South Korea, the State Department’s release of the sanctions list, and the Perception of the virus by former senior U.S. government officials not only exasperated and frustrated the top brass in Zhongnanhai, but also signaled that Yang and Wang’s trip would most likely be a wasted one.
Probably to highlight the embarrassment and ridiculousness of Yang and Wang’s trip, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a press conference on the 17th that “the U.S. and Japan are not qualified to unilaterally define the international system” and that the U.S.-Japanese “joint statement” was “This is another clear evidence that the U.S. and Japan are working together to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
At least the U.S. and Japan are not wrong in criticizing the Chinese Communist Party, which has repeatedly violated the spirit of contract and universal values, for challenging and undermining the international order. The Beijing authorities, who scolded the U.S. and Japan in spite of the upcoming talks, should have expected that the Alaska talks would not be fruitful, and thus they are fuming again.
In this way, the probability that the Alaska meeting between the U.S. and China will talk about itself is high, and the probability that Beijing will succeed in trying to send a big gift to hook up is not high. As for the outcome of the meeting, which Beijing experts hope will lead to the resumption of more dialogue mechanisms, it is equally unlikely that this will be achieved given that the Chinese Communist Party is already seen as a serious threat by the United States and has long lost its integrity. What is Beijing’s next step?