Media: Wang Yi and Sullivan held multiple rounds of meetings The details of the official report are intriguing

6 days ago • 6 pageviews

"The world is at a critical crossroads, whether it is confrontation or cooperation, China's choice is crucial. ”

Wang Yi shook hands with Sullivan

Overnight, two bombshell news stirred up waves of great power diplomacy.

One is that senior Chinese and US officials ended their meeting in Malta on the 17th, and the other is that China and Russia held strategic security consultations from the 18th.

The dynamics of leading powers have always been related to world chaos, what message does this interaction between China and the United States, China and Russia convey?

Adequate and effective strategic communication

On the evening of the 17th, a circular from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs dropped a "shock bomb" on Sino-US relations——

From September 16 to 17, Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the CPC Central Committee, held several rounds of meetings in Malta with Sullivan, the US Presidential Assistant for National Security Affairs. The two sides conducted frank, substantive and constructive strategic communication on stabilizing and improving China-US relations.

This should be the second meeting between the two sides this year after the Vienna meeting in May, and it is also an important part of the intensive high-level interaction between China and the United States for some time. Previously, the US Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Special Presidential Envoy on Climate and Secretary of Commerce have visited China one after another.

A series of high-level exchanges aim to implement the consensus reached at the Bali meeting of the two heads of state and promote China-US relations to stop the decline and stabilize and return to the right track.

Why did the Malta meeting, which has entered the sequence of high-level dialogues between China and the United States, come about?

Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, analyzed that on the one hand, in a sense, the Malta meeting was a compensatory measure for the failure of the top leaders of China and the United States to meet during the recent G20 summit.

It should be noted that unlike the previous visits by senior US officials to China, this meeting is a strategic communication between China and the United States. The importance lies in the fact that a better understanding of each other's strategic and policy intentions will help the two sides find common ground on the development of the relationship, including how to effectively manage differences.

For this meeting, the official briefings of China and the United States afterwards were rich in information and intriguing details.

In terms of atmosphere, both sides used the wording "candid, substantive and constructive". China's Foreign Ministry also mentioned details such as "multiple rounds of meetings" and "long-term communication."

On the topic, the White House said the two sides discussed key issues in Sino-US relations, global and regional security issues, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Taiwan issue. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the two sides also discussed the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula and other international and regional issues.

In terms of achievements, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the two sides agreed to continue to implement the important consensus reached at the Bali meeting of the two heads of state, maintain high-level exchanges between the two sides, and hold consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs, maritime affairs and foreign policy. The two sides discussed measures to further support and facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries.

"This is a full and effective strategic dialogue and communication, and the two sides fully exchange views on issues of mutual concern." Wu Xinbo commented.

From the perspective of schedule, like the Vienna meeting in May, this meeting in Malta was also a two-day meeting and multi-round meeting, and such intensive talks showed that the two sides discussed many topics and lasted for a long time.

From the perspective of the topics discussed, as far as China is concerned, two major concerns were raised.

China and the United States hold two-day multi-round meetings in Malta Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

One is the Taiwan issue. "China expresses strong dissatisfaction with the United States' all-round strengthening of US-Taiwan relations and resolutely opposes US support for 'Taiwan independence'."

Every time there is a meeting with the US side, the Chinese side must talk about the Taiwan issue, and in Wu Xinbo's view, it sends two important signals.

First, it shows that in the current Sino-US relations, the Taiwan issue is a major concern of the Chinese side. Second, it shows that China is very worried and seriously dissatisfied with the US policy towards Taiwan, so it needs to constantly remind and beat the US side.

Another concern is U.S. policy toward China.

During the meeting, Wang Yi stressed that China's development has a strong endogenous driving force, follows the inevitable historical logic, cannot be stopped, and the legitimate right to development of the Chinese people cannot be denied.

"This sentence has a strong pertinence, showing China's resolute opposition to the US strategic policy of containing and suppressing China in the name of competition." Wu Xinbo said that the United States believes that China's rise will depend on the United States, and Wang Yi's remarks emphasize that China's development and rise come from internal endogenous driving forces, and are internal historical processes, not externally given. Even if the United States tries everything possible to suppress, contain and block, it is only in vain.

In addition, compared with the Vienna talks, in addition to talking about the Ukraine crisis and the Taiwan issue, the Korean Peninsula issue was added this time. "This reflects the concerns of the U.S. side and its recent rise in attention to the Korean Peninsula, including the visit of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un to Russia and other developments on the peninsula."

Judging from the results of the talks, the two sides reached a consensus on three points this time: maintain high-level exchanges between the two sides; Hold consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs, maritime affairs, and foreign policy between China and the United States; Explore measures to further support and facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries.

Among them, maintaining high-level exchanges between the two sides is an important consensus, indicating that in the next few months, high-level exchanges between China and the United States will continue and are expected to be upgraded.

Secondly, the three consultations refer to the three major areas that will be carried out at the vice-ministerial and director-level levels.

Wu Xinbo pointed out that the reason for delineating the three areas of Asia-Pacific, maritime and diplomatic affairs is, first, to implement the principled consensus reached by the two sides during Blinken's previous visit to China, and second, these three areas concentrate many of the current concerns of the two sides.

The third consensus indicates that the number of flights between China and the United States is expected to continue to increase, and visa policies may also be further relaxed.

"Generally speaking, this meeting played a positive and positive role in stabilizing and improving Sino-US relations, enabling the two sides to seek some consensus, and guide the next steps of the relevant departments of the two sides based on these consensus, so that they can meet each other halfway." Wu Xinbo said.

It is also worth mentioning that the location of this Sino-US high-level official meeting in Malta is not without attention. In connection with the fact that similar meetings have been held in Europe before, such as Vienna and Luxembourg, they have been hosted.

Wu Xinbo interprets the considerations behind location selection from three levels.

Geographically, Malta is located in Europe that is the halfway point between China and the United States, making it easy for both sides to arrange their trips.

In terms of impact, the meeting in the third place is relatively low-key, which is not easy to attract too much attention from the outside world and the media, and can also reduce domestic political pressure, which is conducive to dialogue between the two sides in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Historically, there is a precedent for choosing a relatively neutral third place talks acceptable to both sides. For example, during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union generally held summit meetings in third places, and an important meeting in Malta was held in 1989.

Transition to Russia paves the way for the summit

Following the announcement of the meeting between senior Chinese and US officials Malta on the evening of the 17th, another official announcement on the morning of the 18th was also eye-catching-

At the invitation of Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Wang Yi will go to Russia from September 18 to 21 to hold the 18th round of China-Russia strategic security consultations.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Director Wang Yi's visit to Russia is a routine activity within the framework of the China-Russia Strategic Security Consultation Mechanism, aiming to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, promote the development of bilateral relations, and conduct in-depth communication on important issues involving the strategic security interests of the two countries.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova previously said that Wang Yi will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The foreign ministers of the two countries will discuss strengthening cooperation in the international arena, joint work in international organizations and forums, and the crisis in Ukraine.

Mao Ning presided over the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on September 13

Ding Xiaoxing, director of the Eurasian Institute of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, pointed out that Wang Yi's visit to Russia has two main goals. First, to hold Sino-Russian strategic security consultations.

The Strategic Security Consultation was established on the initiative of the Chinese and Russian heads of state in 2005 and is a traditional consultation mechanism between China and Russia. In principle, it is held once a year, and the two sides generally consult, coordinate and check tables on major strategic and security issues. This consultation mechanism has reached its 18th round so far, which fully reflects the high level of mutual trust between China and Russia.

Ding Xiaoxing expects this round of consultations to cover a wide range of topics.

The first is Sino-Russian relations. In the face of the great changes in the world, in the face of the new situation, China and Russia have a demand for how to further "back to back", deepen strategic mutual trust, develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era, and promote pragmatic cooperation.

The second is international and regional hotspot issues. Including the crisis in Ukraine, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, the situation in Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula, which has recently seen new developments, is expected to be communicated and compared between the two sides. The Chinese side is also expected to share information on the China-US Malta meeting with the Russian side.

Third, the UN General Assembly enters a high-level meeting week this week, and the two sides are expected to discuss the development agenda, climate change, Security Council reform and more.

Second, China will hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation next month. The Russian side has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit China and attend the summit forum. Wang Yi's visit is expected to discuss Putin's visit to China and pave the way for the meeting between the two heads of state.

China's choice is crucial

On the one hand, it is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world today, and on the other hand, it is a model of major country relations in the new era, at a time when the game of great powers is intensifying and trust and cooperation are lacking, due to the seamless itinerary of Chinese senior officials, the world's eyes cannot help but turn to the rare interaction between China and the United States, China and Russia, which is almost the same period.

Wu Xinbo believes that after the epidemic, China's diplomacy has been fully launched offline, and major country diplomacy is also carried out in multiple directions and levels. In many directions, including China and the United States, China and Russia, and China and Europe, dialogue and interaction in all three directions are unfolding, rather than favoring one side or the other. The multi-level level covers the leadership level, the strategic level (similar to the meeting between Wang Yi and Sullivan), and the working level.

Ding Xiaoxing pointed out that at present, the international situation is changing and full of uncertainty. China, the United States and Russia are the most important powers in the world today, and whether the relations between the two countries can be stable is related to world peace and stability. However, at present, the "Great Triangle" is in an unbalanced state, China-Russia relations are in the best period in history, Sino-US relations are pushed into strategic competition, and US-Russian relations have fallen to a historical low.

"The world is at a critical crossroads, whether to confront or cooperate, whether to move towards a new Cold War, or to unite and cooperate to address global challenges, China's choice is crucial." Ding Xiaoxing said.

From the Malta meeting to stabilize Sino-US relations, to the visit to Russia to discuss strategic security issues and deepen Sino-Russian relations, and Wang Yi's emphasis on China-EU cooperation during the meeting with the Foreign Minister of Malta, it shows that China adheres to the path of peaceful development, chooses openness and dialogue, carries out major country diplomacy in a responsible posture, plays a constructive role in maintaining the stability of the fundamentals of major country relations, and then injects more certainty into the turbulent world and avoids the world falling into camp confrontation and even a new Cold War crisis.

(Edit email: