Posts tagged ‘COVID-19’

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

German Chancellor’s first China Visit: Opportunities and Liabilities

It is going to be the first visit to China for German chancellor Olaf Scholz who took office late last year with a three-party coalition (SPD, Greens, and FDP).

On Friday (November 4), he is scheduled to meet “President” Xi Jinping, according to his office’s website, and following that, a meeting his planned with him and Li Keqiang, his actual colleague as head of a government. Bilateral relations, international topics such as climate change, Russia’s “war of aggression” against Ukraine and the situation in the east Asian region are said to be on the agenda. “Federal Chancellor Scholz will be accompanied by a business delegation during his visit”, the office’s statement concludes.

dongnanweishi_scholz_and_companies
Not everybody’s first visit
Shanghai’s “Jiefang Daily” suggests*) that

many European companies have experienced serious economic problems this year, because of the energy crisis, high inflation, rising interest rates and problems like the economic slowdown. It is crucial for these European companies to make up for these losses in Europe by profiting from the Chinese market. Brudermüller for example, CEO at Germany’s chemical giant BASF, plans to further expand BASF’s “favorable investments” in China. It’s business report shows that unlike in Europe, results in China have been positive.
欧洲很多企业今年以来由于能源危机、高通胀、利率上升和经济放缓等遭遇严重经营困难。对这些欧洲企业来说,用中国市场的收益弥补在欧洲的亏损至关重要。比如德国化工巨头巴斯夫集团首席执行官薄睦乐就打算进一步扩大巴斯夫在中国的“有利投资”。业绩报告显示,与在欧洲的亏损不同,巴斯夫集团在中国的增长一直是正向的。


Michelin’s business report, said to have been published on October 25, also shows rapidly rising sales in China, in contrast with an eight-percent drop in Europe, “Jiefang Daily” reports.

Michelin’s handsome China numbers notwithstanding, the “Global Times”, a Chinese paper for a foreign readership, blames a “sour-grape” mentality for France’s differences with Germany’s China policy. Those differences probably exist, with Paris being more skeptical about Chinese “opportunities” than Berlin, but you might consider Germany’s dependence on Chinese export markets as a liability, rather than as an opportunity, just as well.

While the SPD remains highly cooperative when it comes to China business, both its coalition partners have advised caution. And while it may be difficult to forecast a trend of future German investment in, exports to and supply chain connections with China, there are statements from German business circles you wouldn’t have heard a few years ago.

China itself rather bets on protectionism, but wants to get into the act globally, including in Germany (China setzt selbst eher auf Abschottung, will aber überall in der Welt mehr mitmischen, auch bei uns in Deutschland),

German weekly “Focus” quotes Martin Wansleben, head of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce.  Scholz should champion clear-cut rules.
It isn’t only France that is concerned about Germany’s economic dependence on China. “Voice of America’s” (VoA) Chinese service, too, points out that “the West shows growing concern about Chinese trade practices and its human rights record”, as well as unease about “Germany’s dependence on the world’s second-largest economic body” (对德国对中国这个世界第二大经济体的依赖感到不安).

VoA also quotes a German government spokesman as saying that while Berlin’s view on China had changed, “decoupling” from China was opposed by Berlin.

When you keep pressing people for a while, the main problem appears to be China’s aggressive policy against Taiwan. Most Germans (this blogger included) never expected that Russia would really invade Ukraine. Now that this has happened, peoples’ imagination has become somewhat more animated – and realistic.

The Social Democrats are more skeptical than its middle- and upper-class coalition partners when it comes to the West’s human-rights agenda, and rightly so. (If China put all its SOEs on international sale, you wouldn’t hear a word about the Uyghurs from Western governments anymore.)

But the Russian-Chinese alliance is a fact, and so is that alliance’s preparedness to annex third countries. That is something the Social Dems can’t ignore. If the press, the oppositional CDU/CSU and the SPD’s coalition partners statements are something to go by, the tide of German integration with China’s economy is being reversed.

“Nothing speaks against German SMEs continuing to import their special nuts and bolts from China”, a columnist mused on German news platform t-online last week, but not without a backup source.

China’s propaganda doesn’t look at Scholz’ visit in a way isolated from its other global contacts. In fact, the German visitor is mentioned in a row with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan – all of them bearing testimony, or so the propaganda suggests, of how attractive “Chinese opportunities” (中国机遇) actually are.

But Germany’s dependence on China, while worrying and in need to be cut back substantively, shouldn’t be viewed in an isolated way either. Scholz visit won’t even last for a full day, without an overnight stay, and also in November, Scholz will travel to Vietnam. Statistics appear to suggest that German industry will find backup sources there – if not first sources just as well.

And Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister and one of the leaders of the SPD’s China-skeptic Green coalition partner, is currently travelling Central Asia. All the countries there “once hoped to be a bridge between Russia, China, and Europe,” German broadcaster NTV quotes her – the European Union needed to provide Central Asia with opportunities. Options beyond Russia and China, that is.

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Notes

*) “Jiefang” actually “quotes foreign media”, but Chinese propaganda is often very creative in doing so – therefore no names here.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Thailand: “To compensate for the loss of Chinese Tourism Market”

The following is an excerpt from Radio Thailand’s business news last night (UTC). The program was in English.

20210000_radio_thailand
Better known as FM88 Radio Thailand now, but still on shortwave

Its info that high hopes are placed on Indian tourists, detailing that there have been 600,000 visitors from India since borders reopened in July (compared to ten million Chinese visitors during all of 2019) may or may not be indicative for the overall significance of India as a tourism market for Thailand, but I guess that if Chinese tourists remain absent for a long time, Chinese influence in Thailand could also suffer to some extent. “Zero-Covid” comes at costs, not only at home, but also abroad.

Words or word groups I didn’t understand have been replaced by brackets.

The tourism confidence survey index for the 4th quarter of this year is up 70 from 65 from the last quarter. There is an air of confidence according to the Tourism Council of Thailand that recently unveiled its latest quarterly industry confidence index. It [..] states that a strong recovery from the industry players has been signaled and that business is ready to reclaim its confidence. As one of the countries fastest-growing sector […]. The survey revealed that the industry’s confidence during the 3rd quarter 2022 was up 65, and was expected to rise to 70 for the 4th quarter, noting that the 4th quarter being the sector’s high season and its best time to recover. The Tourism Council of Thailand says it expects tourist numbers in 2022 to be around five million – about two million more than the expected target.

With the latest industry survey, there is a resurgence of confidence that the sector could return to pre-Covid levels by as early as next year, further announcing that the country’s tourism numbers returned to its 40 million mark previously experienced pre-Covid-19. During pre-pandemic era, Thailand’s peak capacity was 39.9 million tourists recorded in 2019. This was the landmark year, when the sector contributed 20% of the country’s GDP.

China was the single largest tourist segment for Thailand with more than 10 million visitors in 2019, which has continued to impose restrictions, unfortunately, on outbound tourists […] thus leaving Thailand to look for new markets. To compensate for the loss of Chinese tourism market, Thailand has managed to attract Indian tourists, where the pandemic has prompted more tourists now to visit the country. India’s tourists have become the second-largest group after Malaysia, with more than 600,000 visitors recorded since the reopening its borders in July.

The Tourism Council of Thailand reported that in its survey revealed that the country’s tourism industry service and [..] businesses have begun recovering, in terms of bottomline. Recent industry reported that hotel [revenues?] has started returning by as much as 40% of pre-Covid level, while 87% of the business were back in full operation. […] [Shortage of workforce also mentioned.]

Despite the positive outlook for the industry and the rebound of the sector, [possibility of] slowdown due to the rising interest rates and […] recession which could dampen travel demand. […]

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Related

Long Yongtu & the Smiling Curve, May 17, 2012
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Monday, October 10, 2022

President’s Double-Ten Speech 2022: Expect no Walk in the Park

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen looks ahead to her two remaining years in office. The following is an excerpt from her Double-Ten national day speech this morning (Monday), based on the presidential office’s Chinese text, and an English translation by CNA.

20221010_president_tsai_ing_wen
Double-Ten speech 2022, click picture for video

疫情沒有擊倒我們,反而讓世界看見了臺灣的韌性。我們不只守住了疫情,更把我們往前推進了一步,成為我們心中更好的國家。 Instead of holding us back, the pandemic has helped the world see Taiwan’s resilience. Not only did we manage the spread of COVID-19, we helped Taiwan take a step forward, and made our country a better place.
但正如同棒球比賽一樣,這一局能夠化險為夷,並不代表,我們下一局就會風平浪靜。走過了上階段的疫情風暴,下一個階段我們挑戰更大,更需要我們沉著面對,共同解決。 But just as in baseball, being able to turn one inning around does not mean the next one will be a walk in the park. Having come through the outbreak of the virus, we know that our next challenges will be even greater, requiring a calm and collective response.
疫後的世界秩序,正在劇烈的變化。目前,歐美各國,正苦於通貨膨脹,和隨之而來的經濟衰退;臺灣的通膨,雖然還在可以控制的範圍,但我們仍然必須要因應,全球經濟衰退的變局。 The post-pandemic world order is in a state of rapid change. Countries across Europe and the Americas are suffering from inflation and the resulting economic downturn. While inflation in Taiwan is still at a controllable level, we must nevertheless prepare for the developments that might be triggered by a global economic contraction.
在此同時,全球供應鏈重組,仍在進行當中。臺灣雖然在半導體、以及資通訊軟硬體的領域,已經取得關鍵的地位;但在其他領域也必須要快步跟上,才能立於不敗之地。另外,極端氣候帶來的異常災變,也提醒我們,必須要建立更能夠快速應變的機制。 At the same time, global supply chains are still undergoing restructuring. Though Taiwan already holds a key position in the fields of semiconductors and information and communications technology hardware and software, we must quickly catch up in other fields to ensure our strong footing. In addition, disasters caused by extreme weather events remind us that we must build mechanisms for rapid response.
在經濟局勢的過程當中,我們還要面對的另外一個挑戰,那就是烏俄戰爭持續在進行;中國在南海、東海、以及臺灣海峽的軍事行動,衝擊印太地區的和平穩定。我們絕對不能忽視,軍事的擴張,正在挑戰自由民主的世界秩序。這些變局,都跟臺灣息息相關。 Aside from economic developments, Russia continues its war against Ukraine, while China’s military activity in the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait undermines peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We absolutely cannot ignore the challenge that these military expansions pose to the free and democratic world order. These developments are inextricably connected with Taiwan.
臺灣正處在變局之中。我們不能抱著僥倖的心態。我們必須堅定民主立場,審慎的做出準備,隨時因應瞬息萬變的情勢。 With Taiwan a part of this changing landscape, we cannot leave things to chance. Instead, we must stand up for our democracy, and prepare prudently and sufficiently to respond to any possible contingency.
回顧過去,正是因為臺灣的韌性,我們才能夠度過疫情的挑戰。未來的兩年,在我任期的最後,我們不僅要持續站穩「四個堅持」的立場,更要在經濟產業、在社會安全網、在民主自由體制、在國防戰力,打造更精實的「四大韌性」。 Looking back, we can see that we were able to weather the challenges of the pandemic precisely because of Taiwan’s resilience. Over the remaining two years of my term, we will continue to resolutely uphold our Four Commitments. We will also enhance the resilience of four key areas: our economy and industry, social safety net, free and democratic government system, and national defense.
把中華民國臺灣,打造成為一個更強韌的國家,就是現階段國家發展,最重要的目標。 The work of making the Republic of China (Taiwan) a more resilient country is now our most important national development priority.

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Related

An Economy with new Bones, May 20, 2016
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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Press Review, Thursday, June 9, 2022

1. Guanchazhe headline at 08:50 GMT / 16:50 Beijing standard time /

He Qinghua, first-level inspector at the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission, on Thursday's press conference at the health commission's press conference center, Xizhimen office quarters

He Qinghua, first-level inspector at the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission, on Thursday morning’s press conference at the health commission’s press conference center, Xizhimen office quarters

Q (“China Daily”):
We have seen that after cluster outbreaks in sections of the city, requirements to nucleic acid test certificates concerning time spans, entering and leaving places have differed from each other. I would like to ask under what specific circumstances is there a need for a test certificate from within 24, 48 or 72 hours? On what basis are the certificate duration limits determined? Will certificate controls on entry and departure from different locations become the normality in the future? Thanks.
中国日报记者:我们看到部分城市发生聚集性疫情后,不同的时间段、出入不同的场所,对于核酸阴性证明的要求都不一样。请问,具体在哪些情形下要提供24小时、48小时和72小时内的核酸阴性证明?确定这些核酸证明有效时长的依据是什么?今后出入不同场所查验核酸证明是否会成为常态?谢谢。
A (He Qinghua):
Thank you for your question. After a disease-cluster outbreak, there is a need to determine and formulate the nucleic acid test strategy in accordance with the requirements of epidemic control and prevention, a need to delimit scope and frequency of testing, to avoid blindly expanding the scope to mass nucleic acid tests, and to [rather] carry out nucleic testing people in accordance with risk levels, from high to low risk. The first nucleic acid screening in a closed area should be completed within 24 hours, and a mass nucleic acid screening in the control area should be completed within 48 hours. In other words, when an outbreak occurs, comprehensive arrangements concerning people to be tested, scope and frequency of tests must be established in accordance with epidemic prevention and control requirements. The closed area definitely completes a mass test within 24 hours and the control area completes the first mass testing within 48 hours. In medium- and high-risk areas’ closed and control areas, people must not leave the area, but if you absolutely have to travel in areas with a low risk of outbreaks, a 48-hours nucleic acid test certificate is required. Any region can adjustments in accordance with the needs arising for epidemic prevention and control.
谢谢你的提问。聚集性疫情发生以后,要根据疫情防控的需要,科学确定制定核酸检测策略,划定核酸检测的范围和频次,避免盲目地扩大开展全员核酸检测的范围,将受检的人员按照风险等级由高到低依次开展核酸检测。封控区应该在24小时内完成首次核酸筛查,管控区要在48小时完成首次的全员核酸筛查。就是说在疫情发生以后,一定是根据疫情防控的需要,把核酸检测的人员、范围、频次统筹安排。封控区一定是在24小时内完成首次全员核酸检测,管控区在48小时内要完成第一次的全员核酸检测。中、高风险地区和封控区、管控区这些人员不得外出,但是疫情发生地的低风险地区和防范区确需出行的,需要持48小时的核酸检测阴性证明。各地可以根据疫情防控的需要进行调整。
Also, in areas with no epidemic outbreaks and no risk of importing [coronaviruses], nucleic acid tests on entry and departure should not become kind of a norm. Beijing has ways of handling this, and we would like to ask director Li Ang for a presentation.
还有一个,没有发生疫情,也没有输入风险的,查验核酸不应该成为一种常态。北京在这方面有些做法,我们想请李昂主任给大家作个介绍。
[…]

2. Where does the Economy go?

02_01_zhang_jun_left

“Seize the opportunity, deepen structural reform”

That’s what Professor Zhang Jun, Dean at Fudan School of Economics and an economic researcher, discusses in an interview addressing the “three pressures” of shrinking demand, supply shocks and weaker expectations (需求收缩, 供给冲击, 预期转弱).
After a detailed discussion of options to revive the economy, reducing youth unemployment etc., Zhang says that

I am more and more worried that our country’s economy is entering a vicious circle. In my opinion, the only way to break from this cycle is to seize the opportunity and to promote deeper structural reform, to thoroughly organize government-market relations. Just as Secretary General Xi Jinping emphasized at the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission‘s twenty-third meeting on December 17, 2021, the development of a socialist market economy is a great creation of our party. The key is to handle the government-market relationship well, to let the market have a decisive role in the allocation of resources, and to play a better role as a government.
我现在越来越担心我们国家的经济进入一个恶性循环,而唯一能够打破这个循环的,我认为就是要抓住时机,推进更深层次的结构改革,彻底理顺政府与市场关系。正如习近平总书记2021年12月17日召开中央全面深化改革委员会第二十三次会议时所强调,发展社会主义市场经济是我们党的一个伟大创造,关键是处理好政府和市场的关系,使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用,更好发挥政府作用。

3. Biden stumbles


But there’s good news, too: U.S. President Biden nearly falls, an animated gif informs the exhilarated reader.

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Complete picture of Guanchazhe’s main page this morning GMT:

Link 1 (top section)

Link 2 (section 2)

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Related / Updates

Whereever, you need a test result, BBC, June 9, 22
Inflation isn’t the problem, income is, SCMP, June 9, 22
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Li Keqiang at Yunnan University, in Accordance with their Wishes

“Yunnan University is still amazing” (云南大学还是了不起的), China’s chief state councillor Li Keqiang tells Yunnan University students at a graduation ceremony, and “Yunnan University will surely advance further”.  Not least, he wishes the students “a post in accordance with their wishes” (称心如意的岗位).

Source: Weibo - click photo for more

Source: Yunnan Univ. weibo channel
– click photo for more

All that seems to go without saying, but the last sentence could be important. After all, China’s “zero-Covid” policy will affect many graduates’ job searches – and Li is only too familiar with cases where that transit from learning to doing went wrong. In early February 2015, he met with students and graduates in Liping County, Guizhou, and heard complaints about student loans with hardly affordable interest rates.

Li, in general, is in charge of the economy – including its dark sides -, while Xi Jinping is in charge of lofty speeches and the spreading of Reagan-like optimism. Xi is becoming known as the man with his happy head firmly above the Olympic clouds: China’s aerospace sci-tech self-reliance, for example (earlier this month), or the skies more in general (May 2013), or with the idea that the party & the state can lock millions into their homes without reliable supplies of daily necessities and income and expect those millions to love the party & the state back for that.

What really surprised many onlookers today is that there was very little Covid policy to be seen during Li’s visit to Yunnan University today – certainly no face masks. In China, too, and on its campuses not least, there seems to be a feeling that China needs to enter the endemic stage, i. e. the era where a society begins “to live with Covid” as its effects become less dangerous or fatal.

But obviously, no hopeful event such as graduation can do without a peek across the clouds:

The Chief State Councillor hopes that the studious sons and daughters of Yunnan University will stand on solid ground, achieving sky-high successes from there (总理希望云大学子站在坚实的土地上,创造高上云端的成就),

he told the crowd before leaving again on his modest minibus.
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Updates/Related

Thank you, you too, May 18, 2022
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Friday, May 13, 2022

Uighurs yesterday is Han Chinese today

Tweet by Yaqiu Wang, Human Rights Watch, May 12, 2022

Click picture for tweet


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Related

“Uighurs Today is the Han Chinese peoples’ Tomorrow”, August 19, 2018
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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

You Sikun: Russian-Ukrainian War a “Great Revelation”

The following is a translation of a speech given by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan’s Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) on Tuesday, opening the national-day preparatory committee. “National day” refers to Taiwan’s double-ten celebrations.
Main link: National Day preparatory committee established – You Si-kun: strengthen the concept of Taiwan consciousness (國慶籌備會成立 游錫堃:強化台灣主體意識概念發想)

UDN coverage, April 19

UDN coverage, April 19

Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun chaired the national-day celebrations peparatory committee’s opening session this morning. He said that the Russo-Ukrainian war is a great revelation for people worldwide and in Taiwan. This year, the general meeting office and the fireworks office1) are asked to actively plan and strengthen Taiwanese subject consciousness2) and cohesion as well as the will of the people to protect the land.

立法院長游錫堃今上午主持「中華民國各界慶祝111年國慶籌備委員會」成立大會。他在致詞時表示,烏俄戰爭對全球和台灣人民都有很大的啟示。今年的國慶活動,將請大會處及焰火處積極規畫,朝強化台灣主體意識及凝聚國人守土為國意志的概念來發想。

[The following paragraph is about technicalities concerning SARS-COVID prevention – left out here]

You Si-kun said that under last year’s rising changes and challenges, the national-day celebrations, besides improving preventive measures against the pandemic, also carved out high-quality celabratory activities. In addition to inviting the heros of the Olympics and Paralympics, those fighting the pandemic, those who defended Taiwan and stabilized society, were part of a heros’ motorcade to be cheered and thanked by people all over the country for their efforts and hard work for Taiwan.

游錫堃表示,去年在疫情升溫的變化與挑戰下,慶籌會除了完善防疫措施外,還能同時規畫出優質的各項慶祝活動,除了邀請奧運、帕運、防疫、捍衛台灣、安定社會、護衛國土的台灣英雄,搭上英雄車隊、出席國慶大會、接受全國人民喝采,感謝他們對台灣的付出與辛勞。

This was combined with work for the overseas compatriots, with the Overseas Community Affairs Council taking overseas compatriots to the national day evening banquets and the national-day gathering in front of the presidential palace. They saw the atmosphere of the Kaohsiung fireworks and the exciting events they brought for the Taiwanese. All celebration activities brought the crowds to many places, improving tourism revenues and earning public praise.

同時,還結合僑胞服務工作,由僑務委員會帶著僑胞到新竹市參加國慶晚會,也到總統府前參加國慶大會,再去高雄觀賞國慶焰火,讓大家感受歡樂的國慶氣氛,為國人帶來那麼多精彩的活動內容,各項慶祝活動也確實為各地帶來非常多的人潮,提高了觀光收益,廣獲社會好評。

You Si-kun said that the Russo-Ukrainian war is a great revelation for people worldwide and in Taiwan. This year, the general meeting office and the fireworks office1) are asked to actively plan and strengthen Taiwanese subject consciousness2) and cohesion as well as the will of the people to protect the land. This year’s national day holiday will be three days, from October 8 to October 10. He believed that the people would certainly the national-day events, hoped that everyone would have fun with combined education and entertainment, and that [the national day celebrations] would be activities with ample vitality, cohesion and consensus-building, and participation.

游錫堃說,烏俄戰爭對全球和台灣人民都有很大的啟示。今年的國慶活動,也請大會處及焰火處積極規劃,朝強化臺灣主體意識及凝聚國人守土為國意志的概念來發想。今年國慶日適逢3天的連續假期(10/8至10/10),相信國人一定會很期待國慶系列活動,希望大家能寓教於樂,讓國慶成為充滿活力、凝聚共識、全民參與的活動。

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Notes

1) 大會處及焰火處, the genereal meeting office and the fireworks office, both of them offices under the preparatory committee
2) Subject conciousness may not be the perfect equivalent – sociologists would be in a better position than I to judge -, but I found this term in a paper about Korean self-awareness-building, too
Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Biden-Xi Videolink last Friday: “Some People haven’t put the positive statements of Mr. President into practice”

When one guy knows what the other one thinks while saying something completely different, that’s probably called successful diplomacy – at least when relations are rotten. That’s also true for the video meeting of the American and Chinese heads of state last Friday (March 18).
What strikes the reader of the communiqués are the shares of the two participants in each others’ readouts.

Xinhua communiqué of Biden-Xi videolink on March 18, 2022

Characters count: Biden 224 / 1187 Xi (Xinhua)

The White House’s readout contains only 164 words, none of which can be attributed to the Chinese interlcoutor alone – and it mentions implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia. Xinhua, on the other hand, doesn’t even mention President Biden’s threat.
Let’s focus on the Xinhua communiqué.

The first cross-purposes talk is about the legendary “One-China policy”. This term, probably garaged in every joint statement ever issued by China and a new diplomatic counterpart, can mean very different things from one country to another. The US, for example, “acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States does not challenge that position.” There’s no position taken by the United States here.

So when Biden declares that “that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed”, Xi Jinping knows that this is no recognition of China’s claims concerning Taiwan. Still, as if they mean the same thing, Xi expresses tells Biden how much he values his statement.

Following that, Xinhua’s account moves on to Chinese accusations made by Xi. Sino-US relations hadn’t recovered from the difficulties created “by the previous administration” (i. e. the Trump admin, but without naming it). Rather, even more challenges to these relations were emerging. Xi continues:

In particular, some people in America send wrong signals to the forces [in Taiwan] supporting “Taiwanese independence”. If the Taiwan issue isn’t handled well, this can have a subverting effect on [Sino-US] relations. We hope that America attaches sufficient attention to this. The immediate cause for the situation in Sino-American relations is that some people on the American side don’t implement the significant consensus the two of us [Biden and Xi] have achieved, and that they haven’t put the positive statements of Mr. President into practice either. America’s strategic intentions towards China have created misinterpretations and wrong assessments.
特别是美国一些人向“台独”势力发出错误信号,这是十分危险的。台湾问题如果处理不好,将会对两国关系造成颠覆性影响。希望美方予以足够重视。中美关系之所以出现目前的局面,直接原因是,美方一些人没有落实我们两人达成的重要共识,也没有把总统先生的积极表态落到实处。美方对中方的战略意图作出了误读误判。

Xi ostensibly gives Biden “credit” by condemning the Trump administration. This follows an opportunistic pattern in China by which it also judges its own past dynasties. Every misery and every defect is blamed on (now powerless) sinister guys from the pre-“communist” past, and the CPC is the mother of all progress. That’s how those in power today can talk with each other and be at ease – albeit at the cost of historical accuracy, at least in public.

Also, Xi applies a similar ambiguity to opponents in America, as Biden America applies to the status of Taiwan. Who are those “some people on the American side”? They could refer to quarters within the Biden administration, but also to opposition politicians like Trumps former secretary of state Michael Pompeo – considered a spawn of hell by Beijing, for reasons like these.

As China doesn’t understand the concept of an opposition, those portrayed by Xi as saboteurs may just be some American newspaper columnist who happened to catch his eye.

Then the conversation – according to Xinhua – turns to Ukraine. Xi uses the same keywords as usual – avoiding escalation, paying attention to the tasks of the moment, overcoming “cold-war mentality”, etc.. Both heads of state agree, finally, to make efforts respectively to a) get their countries’ relations back on track and b) to find an appropriate solution for the “Ukraine crisis”.

Main Chinese concerns, apart from more stable Sino-US relations, appear to be economic issues. The situation “it had come to in Ukraine” wasn’t what China wanted to see, Xinhua quotes Xi. He criticizes “comprehensive and indiscriminate sanctions that caused “suffering among the common people, and points to a double challenge – Covid-SARS and economic development, both influenced by the two most recent crises.

There may be one deviation from the usual talk however: “only the one who attached the bell to the tiger  can remove it again”.

If Biden followed up and asked if this referred to him or to Putin (or Zelensky, or everyone) is not passed down on us, but one might guess that Xi didn’t mainly refer to Moscow.

Ding Xuexiang, Liu He and Wang Yi as well as other persons attended on Xi’s side of the meeting.

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