Over the last 20 years, China has grown and supplanted Russia as the chief adversary of the United States. Since the 1990s, the US has expressed concerns that the Chinese stole sensitive information about US government, military, and business technologies. Its military capabilities have grown dramatically, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to threaten Taiwan. Former President Donald Trump said the Chinese also manipulated their currency and committed numerous other crimes against humanity.
On Saturday, July 9, Chinese and US diplomats met to discuss the relationship between the two countries. Reportedly, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave US Secretary of State Antony Blinken a list of demands if the United States wanted to improve relations with China. Both leaders said the talks were “constructive” and planned to discuss the issues further at a later date.
China Presents US With Four Demands
Wang warned that if the US continued down a path of assessing China as a threat, it might reach a point of no return. He argued that the US government is not honoring President Joe Biden’s November 2021 commitment to improving relations between the two countries. The Chinese Foreign Minister said he gave Blinken a list of four demands:
- Remedial action that the US government could take to improve relations between the two countries
- Key concerns Beijing expects the Biden administration to address
- Legislation it wants Congress to pass
- Eight areas in which the countries can cooperate
Neither Chinese nor US officials made details of the specific items available to the media. Regardless, China has made its positions and demands well-known over the last year. Wang accused the US of building regional alliances to contain the Chinese military, supporting Taiwanese independence from China, interfering in China’s domestic issues under the guise of human rights, and spreading misinformation about China’s political system.
What’s In the List of Demands?
After Trump left office in January 2021, Chinese officials had hoped relations would improve with the US. Despite the change in presidents, both political parties in Congress have sought to pass legislation that would counter what they say is bad behavior from the CCP, making the Chinese unhappy.
In June 2021, the Senate passed the US Innovation and Competition Act. Its purpose was to change how the government funds science and technology to make the US more competitive with China. Beijing has vigorously contested the legislation over Congress’ support for Taiwan. In the House, the bill is under consideration in the America COMPETES Act of 2022. Still, Conservatives are demanding a harsher stance against China.
One bill signed into law by President Biden in December 2021 was the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The legislation prevents the import of products from China made from slave labor. The Biden administration claims China has violated the human rights of the minority Muslim Uyghur community.
Despite the growing tensions between the US and China, both sides agree they should work together to manage their differences. Still, the US could see the list of demands as a “take it or leave it” kind of threat. Would China respond negatively if the US doesn’t agree to their ultimatums?