习近平会见德国总理朔尔茨
习近平会见德国总理朔尔茨
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US making all areas no-go zones for cooperation is in no parties' interests

Source: China Daily | 2024-04-01
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US making all areas no-go zones for cooperation is in no parties' interests

This is an editorial from China Daily. 

If the San Francisco meeting between the leaders of China and the United States last November showcased their shared interest in stabilizing bilateral ties, what has happened thereafter reveals how Beijing and Washington's visions of a stable relationship do not mesh together.

Beijing is working hard to convey messages of constructive reengagement, in the apparent belief that the relationship remains repairable.

In a high-profile gesture to reassure foreign investors about Chinese policy orientations, the Chinese government held three consecutive meetings last week — the China Development Forum, Invest China, and the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. Beijing refuted the claim that China's economy has "peaked", and clarified Beijing's continuous commitment to reform and opening-up.

Throughout the events, Beijing delivered the message that it wants a constructive relationship with Washington where both sides "follow economic and market rules", "expand and deepen mutually beneficial business cooperation" and "respect each other's development rights".

But Washington has clearly divergent thoughts on what constitutes constructive engagement. Washington perceives the competition with Beijing as strategic and structural. As the Joe Biden administration has explicitly stated, it wants cooperation only in areas where they believe it can advance US interests. They call for Beijing to collaborate on climate change, for instance, but are doing everything possible to frustrate the latter's progress in green technology.

The 166-page document the US government released on Friday featuring detailed and revised rules aimed at blocking China's access to advanced chips and chipmaking equipment was only the latest move in a very long game the US is intent on playing. The rules, which take effect on Thursday, go so far as to prohibit shipments to China of laptops containing advanced chips.

In the meantime, the US Department of Commerce is reportedly compiling a roster of Chinese chip factories "of concern" that are to be denied access to US technology and equipment. The recent leaps and bounds in semiconductor and AI technologies, driven and led by Nvidia and other leading US companies, have obviously fueled Washington's sense of urgency to prevent corresponding Chinese advances.

Beijing has protested at the move, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman accusing Washington of severely violating market economic rules, sabotaging international trade rules and undermining the stability of the global production chains. But his appeal for Washington to "immediately correct the mistake" and stop illicit unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction" will more likely than not fall on deaf ears, as have previous urgings to that effect. Because, as should now be obvious to everyone, under the "national security" heuristic, blocking Chinese technological progress has become a bipartisan consensus and new political correctness in present-day Washington. Not to mention that, in a presidential election year such as this, both the Democratic and Republican candidates will compete to demonstrate a tougher China policy.

But while putting on a show for its domestic audience, Washington should not get so carried away that it fouls its own nest by blocking all avenues for cooperation.

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