China Pledges to Renew Military Ties With US

    China Pledges to Renew Military Ties With US
    Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • China's top-ranking military official Gen. Zhang Youxia announced that Beijing aims to renew military ties with the US at the three-day Xiangshan security forum on Monday, amid recent efforts to restore military-to-military lines of communication ahead of a possible Biden-Xi summit.

    • The vice chairman of China's top military body, the Central Military Commission, further stated that Beijing is committed to deepening its strategic ties with Russia and developing a military relationship with the US based on mutual respect and "win-win cooperation."

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    That China invited the US delegation to the gathering shows that Beijing wants to put military exchanges with Washington back on a solid footing. This is also due to the US diplomatic view that engaging in candid US-China dialogue is crucial for the stability of East Asia and the world. However, significant differences remain between the Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy and American values. PRC propaganda will exploit the delegation's attendance, and it remains to be seen how serious China really is about improving ties.

    Pro-China narrative

    The US participation in this forum is the latest expression of its interest in improving strategic ties with China. Yet gestures alone will not be enough to put relations back on track. Washington's interference in China's internal affairs, particularly on the Taiwan issue, its provocations in the South China Sea, and illegal sanctions do not serve this goal. The US must realize that its two-faced tactics are leading to a dead end and that China will never bow to its coercive policy and claim to hegemony. Washington must follow through with meaningful actions of goodwill.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 15% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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