Home Asian News Strengthen Chinese sanctions, escalate trade risks - Radio Free Asia

Strengthen Chinese sanctions, escalate trade risks – Radio Free Asia

Western trade and investment interests in China face new threats as sanctions trigger retaliation, increasing tensions over human rights, national security and territorial control. earth.

Since President Joseph R. Biden began his term on January 20, there has been a number of exchanges of new sanctions announced by the United States, its allies, and Beijing.

Within hours of Biden’s inauguration, China’s Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against 28 former Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former trade adviser Peter. Navarro.

China alleges that it “seriously violated China’s sovereignty” by interfering with China’s “internal affairs”.

As critics of China’s trade policies, monitoring of cybersecurity, intellectual property theft, pandemic response and military ambitions, former officials have been banned from leaving the territory. Chinese and business transactions, together with their families, companies and affiliated organizations.

Sanctions were quickly put in place after statements sought amendment to Washington.

“With the cooperation of both sides, the better angels in Sino-US relations will defeat the evil forces,” said State Department spokesman Hua Chunying.

But if China hopes to enter a new path to pursue its agendas with the Biden administration, it will soon realize that there will be no easier path.

On March 17, the day before a high-level bilateral meeting in Alaska, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced sanctions on 24 Chinese officials for attempting to “unilaterally undermine the system. Hong Kong’s election “by enacting amendments aimed at screening legislative candidates for their loyalty to Beijing.

Although the penalties are aimed at a limited number of party and government officials, financial sanctions can have far-reaching effects.

“Foreign financial institutions that intentionally make important transactions with the individuals listed in today’s report will be punished,” Blinken said.

While the impact remains uncertain, the announcement has put China in the back legs, leaving them with no choice but to conduct talks in Anchorage and hopefully for the best.

“Diplomatically, the timing of the action has been clearly and deliberately set, continuing the troubled start to relations between the Biden administration and China after four tumultuous years under President Donald J.” . Trump, “said the New York Times.

The series of events and official statements highlight the relatively greater importance for China to initiate a lengthy, lengthy process of a different “strategic dialogue” with the new US administration. Biden’s aides have steadfastly dismissed such a mark for negotiations.

“This is not about resuming a particular dialogue mechanism or starting a dialogue process,” a senior US official said in a press conference to reporters two days before the meeting in Anchorage. .

Instead, it is an opportunity to arrange positions, “understand each other and then withdraw and buy shares,” the official said.

Bigger expectations

Statements from the Chinese side show higher hopes for the exchange.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying: “The introduction of sanctions by the United States on the eve of the Chinese dialogue is not a normal welcome.

The sanctions were not the only move against China in the hours before negotiations began.

On March 17, the US Commerce Department served subpoenas for “many” Chinese information and communication technology companies as part of the security risk assessment process.

Trade Minister Gina Raimondo said: “Beijing has taken actions that obscure our technological advantage and threaten our alliances,” Trade Minister Gina Raimondo said in a statement. Reuters reported.

China admits its stance has been troubled by US moves.

An editorial in the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times said: “The US claims that it is participating in a dialogue in Alaska as its strength. But as long as China decides to have a dialogue, it is fine. polite will go first “.

Instead of talking more, the Anchorage meeting seems to have begun a process of action and reaction.

On March 22, more sanctions were imposed on Chinese officials following coordinated moves by the United States, the European Union, Great Britain and Canada, citing “serious human rights violations” of China. Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.

The EU’s participation overcame years of reluctance to impose Chinese sanctions.

“Unlike the United States, the EU has sought to avoid a confrontation with Beijing, but the decision to impose major sanctions first since the EU arms embargo in 1989 following pro-crackdowns. democracy in Tiananmen Square showed a change in the game, “Reuters said.

The EU’s policy change is even more notable because it threatens to cause Europe to ratify a bilateral investment treaty with China, which has taken seven years and 15 rounds of negotiations to negotiate.

China retaliated against Western sanctions on March 22 and again on March 26, imposing sanctions on 10 members of the European Parliament, human rights individuals and groups. others, as well as 9 UK lawmakers and 4 Uyghur rights-related entities.

China’s Foreign Ministry also appoints members of the United States International Religious Freedom Commission, Canadian lawmaker Michael Chong and the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights to retaliate against visas and inter-financial sanctions. related to Xinjiang.

Eyes for one eye

The tit-for-tat sanctions may have ushered in a new period of tension for the US and its allies with China, threatening an escalation that may not be easily reversed.

On Thursday, Raimondo announced a ban on seven Chinese supercomputer developers, adding them to the US Entity List for “activities contrary to the national security interests or foreign policy of USA.”

Raimondo cited computer manufacturers’ contributions to “destabilizing military modernization efforts.”

On Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that “China will take the necessary countermeasures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

Trade and economic conflict also follows previous decisions by Western clothing retailers including Sweden’s H&M and US Nike to stop selling cotton products from Xinjiang. blame for forced labor and abuse in Uyghur detention centers.

China has responded by boycotting foreign branded stores, which they see as the result of spontaneous consumption movements rather than blacklisting by the government.

The rapid succession of sanctions has raised questions about the impact on trade and investment in China after years of continued growth despite the abuse of rights and policy conflicts that have been reported in many years.

William Reinsch, a former deputy minister of commerce in the Clinton administration, now Scholl, head of international business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said.

“Most of the sanctions are on individual companies and organizations, so the overall effect is likely to be small. However, the indirect effect is significant,” Reinsch said.

After years of breaches of the right to be reported, the latest Uyghurs conflicts have become a wake-up call for foreign investment, sourcing and supply chain decisions.

“The best examples are the apparel industry, where companies are caught in the middle of trying to separate themselves from Chinese components in their supply chains, like cotton from Xinjiang, due to consumer pressure and governments are from Western countries and are subject to Chinese retaliation if they do so, ”Reinsch said by email.

“China’s overreaction to sanctions will cause companies to lose market share and sales in China, in some cases this is a huge market for them. If they do nothing, they run the risk of provoking activists in the US and Europe, “he said.

International retailers are facing anger no matter which direction they turn.

“Global brands can protect their sales in North America and Europe, or maintain their markets in China. It’s increasingly difficult to see how they can do both. “Anyway,” the New York Times said in another report this week.

“This will drive a supply chain shortening trend that started a while ago,” said Reinsch. Companies are increasingly looking for reputable and reliable partners and China is not one of them, ”says Reinsch.

The vast range of Western policy disputes with China could mean any one of them could increase tensions and bring relations closer to the boiling point, calling for more attention. sourcing and investment decisions.

“I don’t see an easy ending to this,” said Reinsch.

“China is not even willing to acknowledge its behavior or admit that there might be a problem, so I don’t see the easing of sanctions as possible,” he said.



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