lørdag 1. august 2020

China-US relations: why Wang Yi went back to Wolf Warrior mode after offering an ‘olive branch’

When United States Defence Secretary Mark Esper floated the idea of  a China visit by year-end last week it took many by surprise, coming just hours before a new fight erupted between the two countries over the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston, China’s top diplomats were “neither prepared nor aware” of Esper’s unusual overture, according to government sources in Beijing.

He made the offer during his otherwise strongly worded speech on Tuesday last week slamming China’s “systemic rule-breaking” and “aggressive behaviour”, in the South China Sea in particular. The Chinese foreign ministry simply said it “noted” Esper’s idea to ramp up “crisis management”, highlighting Beijing’s caution in the midst of the worst challenge confronting the two countries since they established official relations in 1979.