On March 19, after the conclusion of the U.S.-China talks, the Communist Party’s Xinhua News Agency issued a short and a long statement, the contents of which apparently made the Communist Party less optimistic and forced the propaganda of the so-called “U.S.-China High-Level Strategic Dialogue” to lower its tone. Compared to the opening statement of the March 18 talks, the CCP media’s coverage after the talks appeared to be tentative and unusual.
On March 20, Xinhua’s Home page, in addition to the CPC’s statement, carried an article titled “China’s Door Open for Continued Dialogue with U.S.”.
The three-sentence report simply stated that “the two sides had frank, in-depth, prolonged and constructive communication on their respective internal and external policies, Sino-U.S. relations and major international and regional issues of common concern.” Such low-profile publicity suggests that the Communist Party’s top brass could not express satisfaction with the talks, and the Communist Party media did not dare to sing high notes easily. The title of the report is even more unbelievable, stating that “the door to dialogue is always open,” which is tantamount to confirming that U.S.-China relations have not improved as a result of the talks, and that the next dialogue has not yet been decided, and that the CCP has to shout again that it hopes to continue the dialogue with the United States.
Earlier, Xinhua News Agency also reported, “Yang Jiechi: This High-Level Strategic Dialogue between China and the U.S. is Beneficial, and is Good for Enhancing Mutual Understanding,” which is even shorter, with only one sentence, basically the content of the headline. Is a “high-level strategic dialogue between China and the United States” just to “enhance mutual understanding”?
It cannot be ruled out that Xi Jinping needs to wait for Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi to report in person when they return to Beijing before setting the tone of propaganda, but at least it shows that the timely news from Yang and Wang is not very optimistic, or rather, the CCP media did not get any good news at all, so naturally, they could not propagate the report, and only reluctantly issued two reports, one with one sentence and one with three sentences. The Xinhua News Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China should have worked through the night to prepare a series of high-profile articles, but they were temporarily blocked from publishing them, which is very different from the reports on the opening of the talks on March 18.
At that Time, after Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi created the dramatic scene of the opening remarks, Xinhua quickly issued five reports, including “Zhao Lijian on China-US High-Level Strategic Dialogue: The opening remarks were not the original intention of the Chinese side”, “Chinese Delegation Officials Conduct Background Briefing on China-US High-Level Strategic Dialogue”, “Yang Jiechi Clarifies China’s Position in Opening Remarks of China-US High-Level Strategic Dialogue”, “Wang Yi Clarifies China’s Position in Opening Remarks of China-US High-Level Strategic Dialogue The opening remarks of the Sino-US dialogue are followed by the main meal, and I hope the US side will move in the same direction as the Chinese side”, said Zhao Lijian.
The speeches of Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi should have been sent to Xinhua a long time ago, and Xinhua also prepared the articles, and only when Yang and Wang appeared on stage, Xinhua immediately published the relevant articles in cooperation. Both the State Department and the foreign media were quick to say that the show was for the Chinese to see. The Chinese Communist Party‘s top brass should have needed this show to prove that they could “level” with the U.S., but it seems to have been botched, and the firestorm seems to have been overplayed. The lopsided comments from the outside world actually add to the woes of the U.S.-China relationship and put the CCP’s bad reputation back in the spotlight. Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi were supposed to seek peace and improve relations with the U.S., but instead they struck an aggressive war-wolf stance, with predictable results.
It is difficult to confirm whether Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi continued their similar performance in the closed-door talks between the U.S. and China, and if they did, a breakthrough in an already difficult meeting would have been even more impossible. In the end, instead of a joint press conference, the two sides issued their own statements, and it appears that words were not exchanged, the CCP’s expectations were largely dashed, and the Xinhua News Agency became very low key. After Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi report to Xi Jinping, the CCP should assess whether the opening remarks created a firestorm, a successful performance or a misstep.
At least for now, it seems that the Communist Party’s top brass is feeling bad and the publicity of the “China-US High-Level Strategic Dialogue” has been temporarily halted.
The CCP issued a long statement of more than 3,000 words, more than 2,700 of which were devoted to stating the CCP’s position on the serious differences with the United States. If a similar weighting is given to the talks between the two sides, the dialogue will become a confrontation, and it will be difficult to improve U.S.-China relations. Naturally, Xinhua would not have been able to make a high-profile announcement. Of course, the CCP had no intention of actually cooperating with the United States, but rather to replace it, perhaps even pretending to do so.
I am afraid that the fireworks opening created by Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi will also be questioned by the party. Why didn’t the U.S.-China diplomatic talks, which were so hard to secure, be conducted in a moderate manner, instead of acting like they were on gunpowder? Who decided and arranged this drama, and what is the purpose? Is this a preparation to improve U.S.-China relations, or to continue to push the U.S. away?
Xinhua’s low profile actually confirms the concerns of the CCP top brass. It looks like the CCP top brass screwed up again at the important point of improving U.S.-China relations, and who should be held responsible for it?