Rapid roundup of the Xi-Biden video summit

Taiwan, travel to China, U.S. monetary policy, China's opening up, and Beijing's willingness to engage

Please note this is a newsletter that does not reflect the opinion of anybody other than your Pekingnologist. Some of the translations below may be less than perfect but you get the idea. And this is written in such a short time that some wording may be well less than perfect as well.


On the Taiwan question, the Chinese readout says


Xi Jinping elaborated on China's principles and positions on the Taiwan issue. Xi stressed that the situation in the Taiwan Strait is facing a new round of tensions because the Taiwan authorities have repeatedly attempted to "rely on the United States to seek independence", while some people on the U.S. side are interested in "containing China with Taiwan". This trend is very dangerous, is playing with fire, and those who play with fire will burn themselves. The one-China principle and the three U.S.-China joint communiqués are the political foundation of U.S.-China relations. Successive U.S. administrations have made a clear commitment to this. The true status quo of the Taiwan issue and the core content of ""One China" is that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is a part of China, and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China. It is the common desire of all Chinese sons and daughters to achieve complete reunification of China. We are patient and willing to do our utmost to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity, but if the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces provoke and force their way, or even break through the red line, we will have to take decisive measures.

The Chinese readout characters Biden as saying in the video summit


The U.S. government is committed to pursuing the long-standing and consistent one-China policy, does not support "Taiwan independence," and hopes that the Taiwan Strait region will remain peaceful and stable.

There was a background call from a senior U.S. official following the video summit which your Pekingnolgoist dialed in, where the senior U.S. official was asked if the Chinese readout's characterization that Biden said the U.S. doesn't support "Taiwan independence" is correct.

The answer from the senior U.S. official, from your Pekingnologist’s recording:

"I would just note that this is something that you know the United States has reiterated at various points over time. White House officials have reiterated it publicly earlier this year that this is not something the United States supports. So I don't think that's something that's particularly new or different. That's certainly a part of U.S. policy."


Easier travel access to China

Xi said


China attaches importance to the request of the U.S. business community for convenient access to China, and has agreed to implement an upgraded version of the "fast track", which, as is believed, will further promote U.S.-China economic and trade exchanges and help the economic recovery of both countries.

Hopefully, this alleviates the concerns of the U.S. business community, such as those reported in the Financial Times on November 1, where U.S. business leaders warned of an exodus of western executives.


Xi said that


China has no intention of selling its own development path all over the world, instead we have always encouraged countries to find the path of development that suits their national conditions.

China has on numerous occasions long maintained it is not in the business of exporting its own political system to others. For example, Xi said this in 2017, as reported by Reuters.


With the talk of inflation heating up in the United States, it is worth pointing out that Chinese economic officials have voiced a number of times their concerns that the macroeconomic policies of the United States may be a problem.

For example, Guo Shuqing, Party Secretary of the central bank and head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the banking regulator, talked in March about the potential side effects of massive economic stimulus in the West, as reported by the South China Morning Post

Yi Gang, the Governor of China’s central bank, made similar remarks in June on ‘extraordinary’ coronavirus stimulus policies from the US, Europe have ramped up global inflation risks, as reported by the South China Morning Post.

On Tuesday (Beijing Time), Xi Jinping said


It is necessary for China and the United States to maintain macroeconomic policy communication to support the world economic recovery. The U.S. side should pay attention to the spillover effects of domestic macro policies and adopt responsible macroeconomic policies.


Xi says


the U.S. should stop abusing and generalizing the concept of national security to suppress Chinese companies.

Some background: The Biden administration has doubled down on sanctioning Chinese firms on national security grounds, such as expanding a prohibition on Americans investing in Chinese companies with purported links to China’s military (the Wall Street Journal, June 3)

A few days ago, Biden signed legislation to tighten U.S. restrictions on Huawei and ZTE (Reuters).

A Georgetown CSET study led by Ryan Fedasiuk recently made headlines, where Fedusiuk wrote on Politico calling for even more strict reviews of U.S. export controls on China. Most recently, U.S. firms and their China affiliates are ramping up investment in Chinese semiconductor companies have made news on the Wall Street Journal, which had commissioned the Rhodium Group to take a look.


On energy security, Xi says


China and the U.S. should advocate the world to jointly maintain global energy security, strengthen cooperation in natural gas and new energy, and work to maintain the security and stability of the global industrial chain supply chain.

One of the bright spots of the Chinese economy has been exporting. In October, Chinese exports again beat expectations (Reuters).

China believes its manufacturing and supply to the world is a precious contribution to the world, as the People’s Daily (Chinese) characterized, 雪中送炭 or to offer fuel in snowy weather.

Natural gas of course featured prominently in the Trump-provoked trade war with China. Last month, according to documents posted on the U.S. Department of Energy website, China signed huge LNG deals with U.S. supplier Venture Global (Reuters).


There is growing talk in recent days of the so-called “China’s isolation” in the world, such as this commentary from Gideon Rachman on the Financial Times or this analysis from CNN. Your Pekingnologist always cautioned that the strict control measures regarding COVID-19 shouldn’t be construed for isolation purposes.

Xi reiterates China’s opening-up to the world


Xi Jinping stressed that opening up to the outside world is China's basic national policy and distinctive identity. China's determination to expand high-level openness will not change, nor will its determination to share development opportunities with the world, nor will its determination to promote economic globalization in a more open, inclusive, inclusive, balanced and win-win direction. Our proposal to build a new development paradigm is to expand the domestic market, form a domestic and international dual circulation on a larger scale, and create a more market-oriented, rule-of-law and international business environment. This will certainly provide a larger market and create more opportunities for all countries.

Pointedly, there is this from another paragraph of Beijing’s readout


All global initiatives proposed by China are open to the United States, and I hope the U.S. side will do the same.

Beijing’s readout says Biden said in the video summit that


I would like to reiterate unequivocally that the United States does not seek to change China's institutions, does not seek to oppose China through strengthened alliances, and has no intention of engaging in conflict with China.


Xi, as China has always, repeated the Chinese willingness for positive development for China-U.S. relations, saying


In the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, we will promote exchanges at all levels and in all fields to inject more positive energy into China-U.S. relations. I am willing to keep in touch with Mr. President in a variety of ways to give direction and impetus to U.S.-China relations. China and the United States share a wide range of common interests in many areas, including the economy, energy, military, law enforcement, education, science and technology, networking, environmental protection, and local communities, and should share their strengths and complement each other's weaknesses to make the "cake" of U.S.-China cooperation bigger.

The U.S. and China can use the dialogue channels and institutional platforms of the two countries' diplomatic and security, economic, trade and finance, and climate change teams to promote practical cooperation and solve specific problems.


If your Pekingnologist’s memory serves him right, the senior U.S. official responded to a question in the background call shortly following the end of the video summit that the issue of the Beijing Winter Olympics didn’t come up in the video summit.


Beijing’s readout in Chinese can be found in Xinhua. Machine translations for example by Deepl Translator will give you a pretty good idea.

There is of course a lot more to cover but this is the end of this newsletter from Pekingnology. Please note this newsletter does not reflect the view of anybody other than your Pekingnologist. Some of the translations may be less than perfect but you get the idea. And this is written in such a short time that there may well be errors.