China, US talks in Beijing strike upbeat tone but risks remain

  • Meetings between senior U.S. and Chinese officials in China this week (5-9 Jun) struck an upbeat chord, with both sides agreeing to maintain communication lines, even as Beijing remains leery of more “provocative” U.S. moves and open clashes are still a risk.
  • Statements from Washington and Beijing on meetings between Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Chinese officials including Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu were positive, describing the talks as candid and productive.
  • Just before Kritenbrink arrived in Beijing on 4 Jun, the U.S. navy reported an “unsafe interaction” on Saturday when a Chinese warship crossed in front of a U.S. destroyer in the sensitive Taiwan Strait, raising the prospect of future face-offs that could spiral out of control.
  • The recent interactions between China and the United States showed both sides are trying to manage disputes, but the risk of clashes will still rise if Washington does not cease its provocations and if it does not show sincerity in improving relations, state-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times reported on 5 Jun.

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