Top US, PRC Officials Hold ‘Candid and Productive’ Talks

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The Facts

  • Read-outs from both Washington and Beijing on Tuesday confirmed that senior American and Chinese officials had "candid and productive" talks a day earlier in Beijing. The two countries are seeking to maintain open lines of communication amid ongoing tensions.

  • The top US Dept. of State official for Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink — along with NSC Senior Director for China and Taiwan Sarah Beran and US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns — met with China's Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Yang Tao, director general of the North American and Oceanian Affairs Department.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

If the Biden admin. wants to thaw bilateral relations with Beijing, it should start respecting China's core interests and taking concrete actions to match its words instead of merely engaging in superficial interactions to restore high-level communications. While the US has indeed changed its rhetoric, its true intentions of containing the PRC haven't changed at all.

Anti-China narrative

Though the US has been trying to mend ties with China following months of strained relations, the predicted thaw has been obstructed as Beijing adopts a tougher stance concerning tech export controls and demands the dropping of sanctions imposed on its officials and companies. If China remains intransigent — pushing to set its own terms to re-engage with the US — cooling tensions will be very difficult.

Nerd narrative

There's an 8% chance that there will be active warfare between the US and China before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



More neutral establishment stance articles

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