Inside the Ring: From China to the United States: Leave the Communist System Alone

A senior Chinese Communist Party official this week repeated Beijing’s demand that the United States not seek to overthrow the Communist system.

Yang Jiechi, nicknamed “Tiger Yang” for his outspoken anti-American stances, made the comment during a lengthy meeting with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan in Luxembourg on Monday.

The White House has provided few public details about the conversation other than saying in a statement that the exchange between the two officials was “frank, substantial and productive.” “Candide” is often the diplomatic code for a harsh verbal exchange.

The US secrecy surrounding the discussion reflects what analysts see as the Biden administration’s increasingly dovish policies toward China. Critics say the administration has sought to pursue a sporting ‘competition’ with Beijing rather than confront the Chinese over contentious issues such as China’s aggressive nuclear buildup, its increasingly threatening military activities towards Taiwan and its continued theft of American data and technology.

The White House statement said the meeting followed a phone call between Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Yang in May. The Luxembourg meeting also touched on regional and global security and US-China relations.

“Mr. Sullivan emphasized the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to manage competition between our two countries,” the statement read.

In contrast, Chinese state media provided many more details about Mr. Yang’s presentation to the United States, including his warning that the United States is changing its policies to support Chinese goals, including the preservation of the communist system.

Mao’s Communists came to power in China in 1949 and used deception and quasi-capitalist means to develop the country. Under President Xi Jinping, the ideology of communism has been revived and is now being exported as an alternative to the US-led democratic system.

Yang is a member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the panel’s foreign affairs committee.

Both are party positions, reflecting the fact that under Mr. Xi, the official government has taken precedence over the party in relations with the United States, even as bilateral relations have become increasingly strained these days. last years.

Official party media Xinhua said in its report on the meeting that Mr. Yang pressed Mr. Sullivan on a reported promise made by President Biden to Mr. Xi that the United States “is not seeking a new Cold War. or do not aim to change the Chinese system”. .”

In recent years, Communist Party leaders have adopted an almost paranoid fear of being overthrown and accused the CIA and other US institutions of seeking to overthrow and ultimately defeat the Communist system.

Xinhua said Mr. Yang also pressed Mr. Sullivan on other reported promises of Mr. Biden, such as that the United States would not oppose China through strengthened regional alliances or supporting Taiwan independence, and would not seek direct conflict with China.

“The Chinese side attaches great importance to these statements,” Yang was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

As for the candid part of the exchange, Xinhua revealed that Yang criticized the United States for allegedly “comprehensively containing and suppressing China.”

“Such acts, instead of helping the United States solve its own problems, have put China-U.S. relations in a very difficult situation and seriously damaged exchanges and cooperation in bilateral fields,” Yang said. “, reported the news agency.

A senior Biden administration official said Sullivan did not pressure China for military buildup or military provocations near Taiwan, but instead called on China to release Americans illegally detained in China.

“The National Security Adviser urged progress on key issues of concern to the United States, particularly emphasizing the need to release U.S. citizens wrongfully detained and subject to exit bans in China.” , the official said. “On this issue, in particular, he emphasized that it was a personal priority for himself and for the president.”

When asked if Mr. Biden would meet with Mr. Xi in the future, the senior official said: “I expect to see other potential meetings in the coming months, but nothing specific. [is] scheduled at that time.

Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Yang to help deal with increasingly belligerent behavior by North Korea, including missile launches and a potential nuclear test, the official said.

The official did not say whether Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Yang about China’s large-scale buildup of nuclear forces.

According to Xinhua, Yang told Sullivan that bilateral ties were at a critical juncture and demanded that the United States adhere to Xi’s three demands of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and peace. what Beijing calls “win-win cooperation”. Yang also said China was ready to work with the United States if it accepted Xi’s demands, but “China strongly opposes the use of competition to define bilateral relations.” .

The CCP official told Mr Sullivan that the United States needed to correct its strategic perception of China and translate Mr Biden’s pledges not to overthrow the communist system into “concrete actions”.

Yang particularly denounced US support for Taiwan, noting that China views the Taiwan issue as an internal matter and any attempt to undermine national unity would fail. Taiwan is an issue that is the “political underpinning” of U.S.-China relations and “unless handled properly will have a subversive impact,” Yang said.

Mr Yang also reportedly hammered Mr Sullivan on US criticism of China for its crackdown in Xinjiang, the crackdown in Tibet, the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong and military activities in the South China Sea.

The CCP-controlled Global Times said Yang called on the United States to follow the advice of pro-China experts like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ease bilateral tensions. The outlet said US “arrogance” and disregard for Chinese demands were to blame for the strained relationship.

“Madly repressing China on the one hand, and expecting China to ‘cooperate’ on the other,…[is] an extremely selfish idea “that has not been achieved by the United States in the past and never will be in the future”, said the Global Times.

Russian nuclear threats limit Western support for Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons against the West in response to the war in Ukraine has limited some actions by the United States and NATO in the conflict, according to a report by a group reflection on national security.

“Russian nuclear threats preceded the war in Ukraine but have not diminished,” said Stephen Blank, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and author of the study. “These threats influence Western responses to war because they build on previous threats and exercises showing that Russia will use nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict to force acceptance of its terms.”

National Institute for Public Policy report says nuclear danger has produced ‘widespread anxiety’ that has inhibited Western relief efforts in Ukraine, such as derailing calls for a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine or sending advanced warplanes to Kyiv.

“Western restraint has encouraged repeated and unbridled Russian threats of nuclear use that are considered inherently credible, even if Western deterrence is not considered credible,” the report said. “This trend upsets the balance of deterrence.”

Russia’s nuclear weapons strategy in the war in Ukraine aims to intimidate and deter NATO from reacting, offering Moscow “dominance of escalation and thus strategic initiative and freedom of action to all stages of a crisis,” the report said.

The overall goal is the creation of “a continuous web of threats against Russian enemies from conventional and nuclear weapons to retain this escalating control.”

Exercises of nuclear forces and saber-rattling regarding the use of nuclear weapons provided a window into Moscow’s concept of strategic deterrence in action.

“In the meantime, Russia will continue to use its remaining nuclear asset and other kinetic and non-kinetic instruments to undermine Ukraine,” the report said.

The report urges NATO leaders to act faster and more broadly at the level of conventional force to undermine the strength of Moscow’s nuclear threats: “Otherwise, Russia may continue to delude itself into believing that it has actually saved something from the debacle it unleashed against Ukraine and Russia itself.

Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz.

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