GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Reports are circulating today of a face-to-face meeting in Luxembourg on 13 June 2022 between China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi + US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The two diplomats met in Switzerland in October 2021; they also had a video call in March this year, four days after a seven hour Yang-Sullivan meeting in Rome.
The purpose of the Luxembourg meeting was to maintain a dialogue, reduce misunderstandings + miscalculation and seek to manage differences. Such meetings are essential if War between the two countries is to be avoided.
Both countries face important domestic political agendas in 2022. The Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing and the US mid term Congressional Elections will be held in November. With US inflation recently hitting a 40 year high at 8.6%, Biden faces domestic calls to remove punitive tariffs on Chinese exports.
The US also needs China’s diplomatic support on the Ukraine crisis, the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue and climate change. Countering Russia is becoming a strategic and fiscal burden for the US + the US fears a new round of nuclear weapons + ballistic missile tests by N Korea. Taiwan is also a key point of difference with the US insisting China will attack Taiwan before 2027. This last issue is very important to China and Yang warned Sullivan that the foundation of China-US relations would falter if the issue is not handled properly.
China has long experience of talking with its opponents. A glance back to the 1930’s will inform of the successful initiative by the Party to persuade the KMT – away from pursuing war against the CPC and instead – to join together to fight the Japanese invader in WW2.
War between China and US remains a real possibility. Whether it can be avoided depends on the experience and maturity of leaders on both sides. Meetings such as the Luxembourg Talks of 13 June 2022 are essential to keep the World safe from major conflict.
NEXT POST – 21 JUNE 2022