US-China relations have plummeted over the past few decades. A high-level meeting of the two countries was recently held in Alaska for the first time since Joe Biden took office as US President. It was not clear at the meeting what steps the new US administration would take to restore relations with China.
Let the beginning of the restoration of Sino-US relations
After the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said there are some ‘disadvantages’ to U.S. bilateral relations with China; At the same time, there are some ‘collaborative aspects’. But the conference lacked the latter, and Blinken and U.S. Defense Adviser Jack Sullivan were seen openly arguing with Chinese officials.
President Biden said he was proud of Blinken’s strong stance against anti-American forces. However, he acknowledged that the meeting was not very effective in improving his administration’s relations with China. But now the US president’s special envoy for climate change (former US Secretary of State) John Kerry is raising hopes. He is scheduled to meet soon with the Chinese President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and the two sides will co-operate in the upcoming meeting.
But what is really needed to improve relations between the United States and China is a broader dialogue.
The Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the two countries held in Beijing in 2016 was attended by the Foreign Ministers and Finance Ministers of both the countries. Apart from them, top officials from both countries were present on issues related to climate policy, maritime borders, counter-terrorism, nuclear proliferation, food security and mineral resources. In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine. ”
If a similar meeting were to take place today, imagine who would be sitting at that conference table on behalf of the United States. Foreign Minister Blinken and Finance Minister Janet Yellen will be joined by Commerce Minister Gina Rimondo, Trade Representative Catherine Rouge, White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy (the first woman in the United States) and the US Agency for International Development. Imagine being joined by Michael Reagan, the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Xavier Becker, the Secretary of Health, and Merrick Garland, the Attorney General.
There are some ‘disadvantages’ to America’s bilateral relationship with China; At the same time, there are some ‘collaborative aspects’. But the conference lacked the latter, and Blinken and U.S. Defense Adviser Jack Sullivan were seen openly arguing with Chinese officials.
If such a conference were to take place, it would be a picture of a better bilateral conference than at any time in the past, because, more than half of the officials I named on behalf of the United States were women. When these women make policy statements in the face of Chinese officials, it will calm the atmosphere at the conference. The United States should propose a large-scale conference of exactly this type as a genuine cooperative measure.
In addition to hosting conferences on issues such as tackling the effects of climate change, the United States may offer to hold bilateral conferences on cyber security and data-privacy issues. There will also be a predominance of women at the American side table. Among them will be Annie Neuberger (National Defense Deputy Adviser on Cyber and Emerging Technology), Jane Easterly (National Cyber Director) and Mieke Yong (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy). In addition to them, Shannon Co, Jennifer Descal, Melanie Hart and Cynthia Carras will be present.
Joining so many U.S. women delegates together in a meeting with China would send a positive message to all women around the world. It will then not just be published as a bilateral conference. The acceptance of the United States in the eyes of the world will increase and the attitude of the United States towards cooperation with China will be expressed in a relatively beautiful manner.
Taken from English, copyright: Project Syndicate
মার Anne Marie Slater Former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and CEO of the US think tank New America and Sam Sack New America Cyber Policy Fellow