U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 23, 2022.
David Di Delgado | AFP | Getty Images
BEIJING — China’s latest leadership appointments signal a greater emphasis on ties with the United States
State media announced on Sunday that Foreign Minister Wang Yi had joined the new Politburo, the second-most powerful level. Although it is expected that he may retire.
The changes suggest that Yang Jiechi, a diplomat long associated with U.S.-China relations, is not staying in the Politburo. Yang is the head of the foreign affairs office of the CPC Central Committee and is widely expected to retire.
Qin Gang, China’s ambassador to the United States, also announced the list of new members of the Central Committee on Saturday.
Qin Shihuang actively engaged with American society and business, and Wang’s comments on a recent trip to New York “suggest that people want to retreat from the fiercely competitive relationship with the United States,” said Yang Dali, a professor of political science at the university. University of Chicago.
“Given the challenges China faces in maintaining China’s economic growth, I think there is definitely an opportunity to ease tensions,” Yang said.
He pointed out that the 1970s, during the Cultural Revolution, was another difficult period for the Chinese economy, but it was at that time that Chinese leader Mao Zedong decided to lend a helping hand to the United States.
The global pandemic that began in early 2020 restricted international travel, while China’s tight control of the coronavirus made it difficult for diplomats to meet.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden have not met in person since Biden took office. The two had previously met while Biden was in other administration positions.
Biden has said he will meet Xi if the Chinese leader attends the Group of 20 summit in November.
When asked last week, China’s foreign ministry declined to confirm Xi’s attendance at the meeting, but said it would release an update in due course.
Russia-Ukraine war escalates tensions
State media announced on Saturday that Qi Yu, the party secretary of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was also appointed to the central committee.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated during the Trump administration, which has used tariffs and sanctions to pressure China to criticize unfair business practices.
The Biden administration then said the U.S. was competing with China and introduced a number of new restrictions, including this month all but a ban on U.S. companies selling advanced chip technology to Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has strengthened ties with allies, especially after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. China, which hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, refused to call the attack an invasion.
However, there are signs that Sino-Russian relations have cooled slightly.
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said in December 2021 that Sino-Russian friendship “has no limits” and was removed in June this year. Instead, he was named deputy director of the State Administration of Radio and Television, without explanation.