Beijing refused to allow US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to meet with its deputy secretary of state, ignoring the United States. Planning to visit China This will be the first high-level contact after intense negotiations in Alaska.
According to four people familiar with the matter, the United States suspended Sherman’s plan to go to Tianjin after China refused to accept a meeting with his colleague Li Yucheng. China has offered to meet Shi Feng, the fifth official of the State Department in charge of American affairs.
The Biden administration negotiated the first high-level contact since their first meeting in Alaska, and a public brawl erupted between U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and Chinese foreign policy official Yang Jiechi.
Although the State Department has not said Sherman will go to China, he does plan to visit Japan, South Korea and Mongolia.
China’s anger follows similar anger The two armies are facing each otherEarlier this year, China refused several requests from US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with the top Chinese military officer, General Xu Qiliang. But China refused the call, having previously offered to meet the defense minister who is more low-key in its system.
Evan Medros, a China expert at Georgetown University, said China is “playing a game” because the history of the diplomatic conference shows that Sherman is expected to meet the State Department’s second official.
“China’s move is dangerous. At an already difficult time, the risks of mistrust, tension and misjudgments are increasing,” Medeiros said.
China originally suggested that Sherman could also have a video call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to Tianjin.
Last month, Kurt Campbell, the White House’s top official in Asia, said the United States was frustrated by China’s refusal to hold meetings with officials close to Xi Jinping. He said Yang and Wang were “not far” from the close circle of trusted advisors to the Chinese president.
The deadlock came after four months after months Alaska Conference, which also ends on a high note. At the end of the two-day meeting, Yang privately told Brinken that he welcomed the follow-up meeting in China, and the foreign minister expressed his “thanks” for it. When Yang asked if this meant he would visit, Brinken replied “Thank you, thank you,” clearly showing that the United States is not ready for another meeting that would anger China.
“They may be trying to punish the United States for not showing enough respect for Anchorage,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at Germany’s Marshall Foundation. State Department officials said the visit could be added to Sherman’s itinerary. “
It’s “common” for the US and China to negotiate deals at the start of the new administration in Washington, said Ryan Haas, a former expert in the Chinese Foreign Ministry now at the Brookings Institution.
“Newly appointed US officials usually want to protect the level of etiquette that their offices have traditionally been accepted by Chinese authorities and vice versa,” Haas said. “These kinds of deal messes often resolve on their own when senior officials arrive, but not always.”
A senior State Department official said the United States will continue to “explore opportunities” to interact with Chinese officials. “Like all overseas trips, we only announce once, if we determine that a visit is likely to be substantial and constructive for our purposes.” A US official said the State Department had potential “ongoing” visits with Beijing. Discusses the.
The United States believes Sherman’s visit could be a springboard for Brinken’s visit to China, which will pave the way for President Joe Biden’s first meeting with Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Italy in October.
The Chinese embassy did not respond to a request for comment.
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