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Same old line from Blinken will not lift ties: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-22 18:51

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a press conference in Beijing American Center at the US Embassy, in Beijing, China, June 19, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China from Wednesday to Friday comes at the right time to help ease the tensions that have quickly built up between China and the United States on South China Sea issues, the Taiwan question and trade disputes.

The largest United States-Philippines joint drill in decades, dubbed Balikatan 2024, or "shoulder-to-shoulder" drill, which involves around 5,000 Philippine and 11,000 US troops and lasts 19 days in waters close to the Taiwan island in the South China Sea, kicked off on Monday.

On Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed the "Indo-Pacific" Security Supplemental Bill worth about $8.1 billion, most of which will be spent by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities on strengthening the island's armed forces. The other bill passed by the House on the same day targets TikTok.

On Wednesday last week, US President Joe Biden called on the US Trade Representative Office to consider tripling the existing Section 301 tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum in response to what he claimed were China's "unfair practices" and to support US steel manufacturing and shipbuilding.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is weighing the possibility of banning Chinese-made electric vehicles in the US market, claiming the cars have "spying" potential and the Chinese government subsidizes their manufacturing.

After dealing with the Biden administration for so long, Beijing will not have any illusions about the US side's "commitment" to managing disputes with China "in a responsible way" as it claims it seeks to do.

During his last visit to China in June last year, Blinken underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and reiterated there has been no change to the US' "one-China policy", "based on the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances". He just pretended to ignore the fact the "one-China policy" Beijing urged the US side to uphold has never been and must not be based on the "Taiwan Relations Act" or the "Six Assurances", both of which are fabrications of the US to back the secessionist forces on the island.

Such conflicting assurances, which only serve to intensify the Sino-US tensions, also prevailed in his remarks on the fraught economic ties between the two countries during his last China trip. While claiming that he would address China's alleged "unfair and nonmarket economic practices and recent actions against US firms", Blinken sought to explain that the US' de-risking policies were not equivalent to decoupling and its targeted actions are necessary to protect US national security. But the world can clearly see that it is the US that is bullying, containing and coercing China.

That being said, if Blinken's China visit is part of the efforts agreed by the two heads of state of China and the US during their last talks by telephone on April 2 to "strengthen dialogue and communication, avoid miscalculation and promote cooperation", the top US diplomat will have his work cut out to convince his hosts that the US is acting to that effect.

With the US flexing its military, financial and economic muscles against China in various ways, the Biden administration has left the Chinese side little space in which to misinterpret its China policy.

That being said, if the top US diplomat continues to repeat the same old line, rather than actually trying to address the issues by talking on an equal footing with mutual respect, his coming visit will just prove to be another talk-for-talk's-sake chicken-and-duck dialogue.

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