China summit

U.S. will likely bring up Uighurs, cyberattacks, Taiwan and Hong Kong in upcoming China summit

U.S. will likely bring up Uighurs, cyberattacks, Taiwan and Hong Kong in upcoming China summit


 Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian·2 min read  

U.S. officials announced Wednesday they’ll hold their first high-level, in-person summit next week with China — and cyberattacks, human rights and Chinese actions in Taiwan and Hong Kong are likely on the agenda.

Why it matters: China’s leaders may see the current moment as a window of opportunity to persuade a new administration the United States has much to gain from supporting Beijing’s global goals and much to lose if the U.S. tries to thwart them.

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  • Relations between the world’s two nuclear-armed superpowers are at their lowest point in decades.
  • The Biden administration has said it views China as a major strategic rival, and the National Security Council has made the Indo-Pacific region its top focus.

On the table: In Anchorage, Alaska, next week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan are likely to bring up recent cyber intrusions attributed to Chinese-backed actors, China’s recent aggression toward Taiwan and the genocide that China is perpetrating against its Muslim minorities.

  • State Councilor Wang Yi and Director Yang Jiechi are likely going to demand that the U.S. cease interfering in what they perceive as issues of Chinese territorial sovereignty.
  • They are also likely to object to what they perceive as attempts at regional containment, such as the planned Quad summit involving officials from the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.
  • Both the Biden administration and Chinese officials hope the U.S.-China relationship can accommodate some degree of cooperation, so potential areas of partnership — such as on climate change and pandemic preparedness — also may come up.

My thought bubble: Yang and Wang undoubtedly hope to win a detente.

  • Biden has so far upheld most of the Trump era’s tough China measures in a sort of holding pattern, as the administration conducts a comprehensive review of America’s China policy.

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