The Exchange provided by the China-United States Exchange Foundation
KEY FOCUS
  • Katherine Tai's Speech on Trade and Tariffs | U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivered remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that outlined the future of the Biden administration's trade policy on China. Commentators are wary of Tai's words because they recognize that a complete decoupling from China would be detrimental to the U.S. economy. However, they understand that the U.S. must ensure that China's trade promises are kept. 
  • Sullivan and Yang Meet in Switzerland | U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Yang Jiechi, China's top foreign policy official, in Switzerland for six hours Wednesday. The meeting resulted in an agreement for President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping holding a virtual meeting by the end of the year, the details of which are still being discussed. 
  • Will China and/or the U.S. Join the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership | Observers advocate for both China and the U.S. to join the CPTPP in order to enhance global trade and create mutually beneficial economic partnerships. To the chagrin of the majority, the U.S. has largely obfuscated from such discussions of CPTPP participation. However, China has already put in its bid for membership. 
RECENT COMMENTARIES - U.S. 
The Washington PostHow Biden can avoid Trump’s mistakes with China, by the Editorial Board

October 5, 2021: "Treating this deal as a point of continuity between the Trump and Biden administrations, Ms. Tai took China to task for failing to keep its side of the bargain and offered no substantial letup in Mr. Trump’s tariffs," praised the Editorial Board in their assessment of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai's trade speech on Monday. Tai classified the China-U.S. trade relationship as a deadlocked competition for global market share, calling on the U.S. to "deploy all tools and explore the development of new ones." The Board agrees with her, but does not deny the costs of the tariffs implemented by Trump on American citizens. In their conclusion, they reaffirm Tai's promise to “work closely with our allies and like-minded partners” to develop new avenues of trade. 
BloombergThe U.S. Can’t Be Smart on China Without Talking Trade, by the Editorial Board

October 4, 2021: The Editorial Board discusses the possibility of either China or the U.S. joining the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). While the U.S. continues to ignore calls for it to join the CPTPP, China has already submitted its own bid and expressed its desire for strengthened trade partnerships. "China is a bigger trading partner than the U.S. The potential economic benefits of Chinese accession are huge — larger than if the U.S. joined, according to one estimate," the Board notes. Ultimately, they recommend the Biden administration work to rethink trade by working with Japan and Australia to build up the support needed to join the CPTPP. 
The Peterson Institute for International EconomicsWhy Biden will try to enforce Trump’s phase one trade deal with China, by Chad P. Bown 

October 5, 2021: Senior fellow Chad P. Bown criticizes USTR Katherine Tai for failing to accurately portray why the U.S. will continue to enforce Trump's phase one trade agreement. Understanding where China fell short in 2020-2021 purchases is "crucial to any effort to address the U.S.-China trade relationship." From the start of the agreement, Bown believes the U.S. made an unfair and impossible demand of China; the country has never been on pace to meet the goods purchase commitments due to several factors that include the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the backloading of the purchase commitments with more expensive spending on U.S. exports scheduled for 2021. "Despite its improving economy, China has not been able to catch up," and Bown argues the country should be offered reprieve. 
RECENT COMMENTARIES - CHINA
Global Times, Time for US to seek non-trade war means to consult and solve issues with China, by the Editorial Board

October 5, 2021: The Editorial Board notes Katherine Tai's criticism of China in her speech this week as well as her new term "durable coexistence" when referencing the goals of the Biden administration's China trade policy. Yet, they point out that the country has taken steps to rectify previous issues in the China-U.S. trade relationship. "From Tai's remarks, we can see that the U.S. has to some extent realized that it is unrealistic to 'transform China' based on the U.S.' interests and in accordance with their thinking. The U.S. cannot achieve it," they underscore. In their closing, the Board commends China's ability to welcome dialogue and negotiations that help construct a mutually beneficial bilateral trade relationship while not making concessions that hinder economic growth. 
CGTNLet's make China-Japan relationship work better, by First Voice

October 4, 2021: CGTN's First Voice highlights the importance of the China-Japan relationship and recognizes opportunities for cooperation and areas of contention with Fumio Kishida assuming the position of Prime Minister. Representing the two largest economies in Asia, First Voice asserts that neither can afford to transform the other into an adversary. Yet, they are concerned about the rising tensions between the two as Japan turns to the U.S. for economic support. "There is no reason to believe the U.S. will alleviate pressure on Tokyo regarding Beijing, but this does not mean that China and Japan couldn't find greater surety in each other or that Japanese foreign policymakers should give up hope or optimism that they can still benefit and prosper from their relationship with China," First Voice acknowledges. 
The DiplomatWhat Does Meng Wanzhou’s Release Mean for China-US Relations?, by Dingding Chen

October 4, 2021: President of Intellisia Institute and professor of international relations at Jinan University Dingding Chen says that there are three reasons to remain skeptical following the release of Huawei Chief Financial Office Meng Wanzhou after striking an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department regarding fraud charges: 1. Despite her release, he suspects U.S. pressure on Huawei will continue to grow as the China-U.S. tech competition ramps up; 2. structural factors are believed to be the cause of worsening bilateral relations and, therefore, issues such as tariffs and security could get worse; and 3. the lack of common understanding in most policy areas including climate change demonstrates the difficulty of achieving cooperation. "We will need more patience before we can see some real improvement in the relationship," Chen says. 
LATEST POLLS AND FIGURES
POLITICO Shows Rise In Individuals Identifying As Part Of AAPI Community After COVID-19
 
A new poll from POLITICO and Morning Consult released October 3 illustrates the change in how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders view politics and their identity.​​ After the pandemic, 21 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to identify as members of the AAPI community. This comes after heightened xenophobia against the AAPI community, and more specifically the Chinese community over the past two years. University of California, Berkeley professor Taeku Lee said, “What often works is this sense of shared threat or hardship.’ If you're going to micro-target AAPI voters, that's going to continue to be a pretty powerful framing for why they need to get involved in politics.”
HEARD FROM THE PEDESTRIAN
Most Talked-About Topics
Selected based on the occurrence of keywords in Twitter posts concerning the China-U.S. relationship in the past week
Taiwan
Users grew more concerned as reports were published of China flying 149 aircraft inside Taiwan's defense zone in the past four days. While Foreign Minister Joseph Wu urged Australia to bolster intelligence sharing and security cooperation with the island, the majority are worried that military confrontation between China and Taiwan may be in the near future. They ask the U.S. to step in and quell any violence should war break out. 
Pandora Papers
The leak of the Pandora Papers this week garnered attention on Twitter, as users analyzed the Papers that denote over 29,000 offshore companies. The owners come from more than 200 countries and territories, with the largest contingents from China, Russia, the U.K., and Argentina. Some were suspicious at the lack of U.S. politicians present in these papers, leading users to believe that either they were excluded from the investigation or these lawmakers are "better" at hiding their assets. 
Top Tweet
ON THE BIG SCREEN
While China's biggest-budgeted new movie The Battle at Lake Changjin earned $235 million over the National Day holiday, ticketing service Maoyan projects it will earn close to $800 million, making it one of China's highest-grossing films in history. The movie recounts the brutal 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War; a battle some would argue was the most critical Chinese victory of the conflict. Amid harsh weather conditions, the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) soldiers exemplified bravery and were able to fend off U.S. aggressors. In 2016, PBC released the U.S. perspective of this battle in the documentary The Battle of Chosin, which featured interviews with more than 20 veterans from the campaign. The documentary shows how twelve thousand men of the First Marine Division and a few thousand army soldiers became surrounded by the People's Republic of China, led by Mao Zegong, at Chosin Reservoir on Thanksgiving Day 1950. What followed was a two-week battle that is described as "the most celebrated in Marine Corps annals and helped set the course of American foreign policy in the Cold War and beyond." 
EVENTS TO WATCH
  • October 5, 2021: European Union leaders met for the first time since the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, where they discussed the EU's position among rising China-U.S. tensions 
  • October 6, 2021: U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with top China foreign policy official Yang Jiechi in Switzerland to negotiate a possible virtual summit between President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping
  • October 11-24, 2021: UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to be held in Kunming, Yunnan
  • October 30-31, 2021: G20 Summit in Rome
  • October 31- November 12, 2021: UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow 
  • November 2021: The Politburo will gather in Beijing for the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee
  • Fall 2021: The China-U.S. Financial Roundtable (CUFR), consisting of Wall Street figures and Chinese officials, will hold a virtual meeting to discuss ways to reinforce the financial sector and fortify bilateral relations
  • December 9-10, 2021: U.S. President Biden will host a virtual Summit for Democracy to set forth an agenda against authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights abuses. Whether Taiwan will be invited concerns stakeholders
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