Senior officials of China, US hold candid talks

Updated: May 12, 2023
Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, meets with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Vienna, Austria, May 10, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Senior officials from China and the United States met in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday and Thursday and had candid, in-depth, substantive and constructive discussions on bilateral ties.

Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan discussed removing obstacles in China-US ties and stabilizing the relationship.

Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, fully expounded on China's solemn position on the Taiwan question.

Trade curbs opposed

The two sides exchanged views on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the Ukraine issue and other international and regional issues of common concern. Both sides agreed to continue to make good use of the strategic communication channel.

In another development, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao met with Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China. The two sides exchanged views on China-US economic and trade relations, as well as their respective concerns over other economic and trade issues, the ministry said in a news release.

Also on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said that the Chinese government will resolutely oppose any move by the US to restrict US companies from investing in China or coercing its allies to follow suit, as such moves undermine the international economic and trade order and disrupt the stability of global industrial and supply chains.

Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the ministry, made the remarks at a news conference after Bloomberg reported that US President Joe Biden aims to sign an executive order to limit investment in China's high-tech industries and hopes to get an endorsement from its G7 partners on such curbs at next week's meeting.

"If the news report turns out to be true, China will resolutely object to such acts", as they run contrary to the market economy and the principle of fair competition, affect enterprises' normal business decisions, undermine the international economic and trade order and disrupt the stability of global industrial and supply chains, said Shu.

China will remain steadfast in advancing high-level opening-up and welcomes enterprises from all countries to invest in China and share development opportunities, the spokeswoman added.

Tu Xinquan, dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said the US government habitually politicizes technology and trade issues and uses them as a tool and weapon in the name of national security, while its true intention is to suppress China's development.

It is rare for governments across the globe to launch outbound investment screening on the pretext of national security. The US will need a well-structured legal basis to enforce the restrictions, and it would be the same for its allies to do so, Tu said, adding that relevant countries must discard such a Cold War mentality and follow market rules.

Wu Chaoze, chief analyst of technology, media and telecom industry at China Securities, said the curbs, if enforced, will have limited impact on China's relevant high-tech sectors. The scale of US investment concerning areas such as AI, chips and quantum computing in China remains relatively small, as US companies have avoided investing in China due to US sanctions in recent years, Wu said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday that China and the US have maintained communication. "What matters is that the US cannot keep raising the issue of communication on the one hand, while on the other, keep suppressing and containing China," Wang said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

The US side should view China in an objective and rational manner, respect China's red lines, stop undermining its sovereignty, security and development interests, and work with China in the same direction to bring bilateral ties back on the track of sound and stable growth, he said.

Mo Jingxi contributed to this story.

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