Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2021

U.S. - China Talks Point To A Longer Conflict

The U.S. wants to slice and dice its approach to China. It will use all means to take advantage of China where it can, while restricting China in those fields were it can no longer compete with it. The Chinese reject that approach. The U.S., they say, should not see China as an enemy. It should stop lecturing China, accept it as an equal and cooperate with it in all fields.

The U.S. is unwilling to do that. Its media-military-industrial complex is already primed for a cold war with China. Trillions of dollars are to be made from it. China on the other side is ready to play hardball if it must.

Today U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman held talks with the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng, She also meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The later meeting, demanded to be the main event by the U.S., had already led to some squabble. Wang Yi is beyond Sherman's rank and her main discussion, the Chinese insisted, should be with a person on her own level:

The State Department emphasized Sherman will have “senior-level” communications but a statement from China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry emphasized that Sherman “will hold talks” with Xie and after that Foreign Minister Wang will “meet her.”

On Saturday two 'senior U.S. administration officials' gave a preview of the talks:

As Secretary Blinken has said, the U.S. relationship with China will be collaborative where it can be, competitive where it should be, and adversarial where it must be. And we expect all dimensions of the relationship will be on the table for discussion during Wendy’s meetings.
In Tianjin, [Sherman is] going to make clear while we welcome stiff and sustained competition with the PRC, everyone needs to play by the same rules and on the level – on a level playing field.

She’s going to underscore that we do not want that stiff and sustained competition to veer into conflict. This is why the U.S. wants to ensure that there are guard rails and parameters in place to responsibly manage the relationship.

The second official added:

So let me also put this meeting into the context of the administration’s broader China policy effort. Since President Biden took office, we’ve put a lot of focus on strengthening our own competitive hand vis-a-vis China through many actions that we’ve taken domestically, investing in ourselves at home. We’ve also rallied our allies and partners, including to advance an affirmative vision of the rules-based international order. And we’ve confronted China when they’ve acted against our interests and values while working to cooperate with China on areas like climate change and nonproliferation.

We know we’re stronger when we work with our allies. We know this makes us more effective when dealing with Beijing. We aren’t seeking an anti-China coalition in our work with allies and partners, but rather trying to work together in a multilateral fashion to uphold the international rules-based order.
With all of those actions underway, we’re entering this engagement from a position of strength and of solidarity.
Even as we meet with our Chinese counterparts, we will also continue to hold China accountable. These things are not mutually exclusive, and it should be clear that we are not afraid to impose costs for China’s behavior that undermines international norms.

As Peter Lee commented with his usual snark:

chinahand @chinahand - 16:43 UTC · Jul 24, 2021
"We're going to keep kicking your ass. Don't kick back, 'kay?" Our fate now that dime store Machiavellis, excuse me, generational talents, run the FP show.

The emphasized words were not welcome in China. On Sunday Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded in an interview with an attack on U.S. exceptionalism:

“The United States always wants to exert pressure on other countries by virtue of its own strength, thinking that it is superior to others,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

“However, I would like to tell the US side clearly that there has never been a country in this world that is superior to others, nor should there be, and China will not accept any country claiming to be superior to others.

“If the United States has not learned how to get along with other countries on an equal footing by now, then it is our responsibility, together with the international community, to give the US a good tutorial in this regard.

Today, after the talk between Sherman and Xie, the Foreign Ministry published a series of strong response snippets by Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng:

I especially like the one about the 'rules based international order':

On 26 July, during his talks with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng made the comment that the U.S. side's so-called “rules-based international order” is an effort by the United States and a few other Western countries to frame their own rules as international rules and impose them on other countries. The United States has abandoned the universally-recognized international law and order and damaged the international system it has helped to build. And it is trying to replace it with a so-called “rules-based international order”. The purpose is to resort to the tactic of changing the rules to make life easy for itself and hard for others, and to introduce “the law of the jungle" where might is right and the big bully the small.

The SCMP summerizes:

China has for the first time given the US a list of red lines and remedial action it must take to repair relations, including lifting sanctions and dropping its extradition request for Huawei financial chief Meng Wanzhou.

Chinese foreign vice-minister Xie Feng told US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman on Monday morning that US-China relations had reached a “stalemate” and faced “serious consequences”, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

“The foundational reason is that some people in the US are treating China as an ‘imagined enemy’,” it quoted Xie as saying.

After the meeting, Xie said China gave two lists to the US – one with one remedial action for Washington to take towards China, and the other a series of Beijing’s key concerns.
Xie said the Chinese side also “expressed its strong dissatisfaction towards the wrong remarks and actions of the US” in relation to investigations into the origins of Covid-19, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

“We urge the United States not to underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the 1.4 billion Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,” state news agency Xinhua quoted him as saying.

In its summary of the talks the Associated Press points to the basic difference in the approaches:

High-level face-to-face talks between U.S. and Chinese diplomats on Monday highlighted sharp differences between the sides, although the tone appeared somewhat less contentious than at their last meeting.
Xie said China wants to seek common ground while shelving differences, highlighting a divide in the basic approach to their relationship. The Biden administration has said it will cooperate in areas such as climate but confront China in others such as human rights, describing the relationship as collaborative, competitive and adversarial.

As the U.S. is for now rejecting the Chinese offer for burying the hatchet China will have to play hardball. It will not be cooperative in the fields where the U.S. wants it to be cooperative (Iran, North Korea, etc.). It will also be adversarial in fields where the U.S. has little ability to push back (rare earth exports, Boeing 737MAX re-certification).

The U.S. hopes that it can find and press 'allies' into confronting China. But Europe already rejected that. To others, especially in Asia, the U.S. looks like a declining power because it is a declining power and the economic interests of most nations now favor China. Under these circumstances I for one fail to see how the U.S. could win in a longer cold conflict.

How long then will it take until the U.S. recognizes that and steps down from its illusion of supremacy?

Posted by b on July 26, 2021 at 16:20 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Turk 152 | Jul 28 2021 16:33 utc | 293 -- Foreign Minister Xie Feng tells Wendy Sherman that the Empire has no clothes.

The impudence of the Biden Regime knows no bounds. The tone-deafness too. And manners.

Wendy demanded to sit with China's foreign minister, thus talking above her pay scale over the head of deputy foreign minister Xie Feng.

China not only refused, but set the meeting outside Beijing.

However, they let her informally meet and greet foreign minister Wang Yi ( she will no doubt have said that she has an important message from Bidet Biden to be delivered only in person, blah blah blah ).

What happened next was interesting: Wang Yi stayed on in Tianjin to meet the Talibans.

This foreign minster, who will not formally meet with Wendy, actually sat with people who are not yet a government, not yet foreign ministers and enemies of the US !!!

In the world of diplomatic snubbery, this must be an ouchie, no?

When you have no clothes, you better learn to be polite, no?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Jul 29 2021 4:55 utc | 301

William Gruff | Jul 28 2021 12:21 utc | 271

On top of this, Americans are massively overconfident in the invincibility of the US Navy, so committing the navy to action is politically easy for America.

‘It Failed Miserably’: After Wargaming Loss, Joint Chiefs Are Overhauling How the US Military Will Fight

In a fake battle for Taiwan, U.S. forces lost network access almost immediately. Hyten has issued four directives to help change that.

“Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it,” Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.

The Pentagon would not provide the name of the wargame, which was classified, but a defense official said one of the scenarios revolved around a battle for Taiwan. One key lesson: gathering ships, aircraft, and other forces to concentrate and reinforce each other’s combat power also made them sitting ducks.

“We always aggregate to fight, and aggregate to survive. But in today’s world, with hypersonic missiles, with significant long-range fires coming at us from all domains, if you're aggregated and everybody knows where you are, you're vulnerable,” Hyten said.

Even more critically, the blue team lost access to its networks almost immediately.

“We basically attempted an information-dominance structure, where information was ubiquitous to our forces. Just like it was in the first Gulf War, just like it has been for the last 20 years, just like everybody in the world, including China and Russia, have watched us do for the last 30 years,” Hyten said. “Well, what happens if right from the beginning that information is not available? And that’s the big problem that we faced.”

. . .

Hyten wants the U.S. military to be ready to fight under the new operating concept by 2030, using many of today’s weapons, aircraft, and ships.

Hyten bio

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 29 2021 5:03 utc | 302

@karlof1 (215)

Russia looks to the East

Russia too is looking for partners in the East as the West fragments and becomes less reliable. The West’s attempts to convert Ukraine into an anti-Russian bulwark made Russia reduce its reliance on Ukraine by constructing Nord Stream 1, Turk Stream, and Nord Stream 2. Now that the European Union increasingly becomes an unreliable and politically fragmented partner, Russia is diversifying its economic connectivity by looking to the East.

Increasingly, Moscow stands in contrast to a stagnant, ideological and belligerent West by seeking dynamic, pragmatic and accommodating relations in East. Nord Stream 2, for those reasons, will therefore likely be the last gas pipeline Russia builds towards Europe.

I was told at least a month ago that there would be a Nord Stream 3 in the works should there be demand for it once Nord Stream 2 is finished. What's the current status of talks thereof?

Posted by: joey_n | Jul 29 2021 8:09 utc | 303

kiwiklown @301

What happened next was interesting: Wang Yi stayed on in Tianjin to meet the Talibans.

LOL, I didn't know that. That was sweet!

I hope Sherman's team were paying attention, then it would have been a real slap in the face . Too bad few media picked up the point like you did.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 29 2021 12:39 utc | 304

I think the US should just go and f*ck itself! Ooh wait it is already doing that "bigly", the poor have become the destitute, the middle class have become the poor, and the rich have become richer. The US is a land for the few and wealthy, unfortunately it is also the land of the stupid and degenerate, else we would already have seen a new 1917 happening, bur ok "onetime serf, always serf".
The US can only be straightened by serious armed rebellion, where the rich is not only decimated, but obliterated. Cuba has shown the way, although not much fun, a poor Cuban is far better off than a destitute American.
And I'm not talking as a rich person, I am out of work (I am 64), my union's benefits have expired, so I am on social welfare, (God bless socialist Sweden), I still own a house worth roughly 1 million $, which costs roughly 1000 § a month, (which is cheap in Malmö, Sweden), in a years time I will go non pension and thing Will look a bit more bright.
But I do not complain, I have travelled the world, and seen misery and real poverty, I am unfathomable rich according to their measures, from pygmy men in the Kalahari to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, I am rich in comparison to them.
But the US and the UK is different.... the re it is white people been rejected and live on the streets, they should rebel and demand social justice and equality, preferably an armed one. Else no change will happen.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Jul 30 2021 16:14 utc | 305

Below is just the title from a ZH posting that blames the virus on China....because when failing, blame someone else

74% Of COVID-19 Cases From Massachusetts Outbreak Occurred In Fully Vaccinated People: CDC

(this was for the month of July)

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30 2021 21:21 utc | 306

joey_n @303--

You'll need to ask Alexey Miller, Gazprom CEO, if he wants to go through another round of political hurdles to construct another pipeline to Europe. IMO, he won't as Gazprom has lots of work to do in other areas of its overall business, development of Russia's petrochemical industry with other Russian companies being a high priority. IMO, Europe will need to suffer from several years of gas shortages before it asks if Gazprom will be willing to help.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 30 2021 22:40 utc | 307

pogohere @302

The overconfidence that I spoke of is not among the military command, but among the general population and within the political establishment. The military leadership is a little more realistic about how much damage the Chinese could deal out. Unfortunately when they try to explain this to the political establishment the politicians dismiss it as just a ploy by the military to get more money and their delusion holds.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 1 2021 19:53 utc | 308

"How long then will it take until the U.S. recognizes that and steps down from its illusion of supremacy?"

America will not willingly give up its delusions of Full Spectrum Dominance of the world.

Rather, America's fanatical belief in its Manifest Destiny to rule the world, as part of its Rules-Based DisOrder, must be utterly and completely destroyed down to the last god damned Amurican.

And that means the physical break-up of the "United" States of America.

In short, America Delenda Est.

Posted by: ak74 | Aug 2 2021 6:20 utc | 309

The US will not change its behavior until it really gets kicked in the teeth. Diplomatic pissing contests will make no difference. Black listing US companies, blocking exports of things like PV chips and rare earths, refusal to accept US$ for China's exports will probably prompt the regime in Washington to try gunboat diplomacy which would be a serious mistake and will probably get a bunch of US ships sunk.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Aug 3 2021 0:29 utc | 310

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