Intense Competition and Diplomacy: US Security Advisor Says US-China Leaders’ Meeting Still Possible

Daniel Y. Teng
By Daniel Y. Teng
June 5, 2023Chinashare

The Biden administration is still confident a meeting will be secured between the U.S. president and Chinese leadership.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, in an interview with CNN, denied that both China and the U.S. was inevitably headed towards conflict.

“I sat in the room with President Biden when he met with President Xi in Bali last year, and that was not my experience,” Sullivan said, explaining that both leaders attempted to reach an understanding.

“The desire on both parts to put a floor under the relationship, to manage the competition responsibly, to ensure that competition does not become a conflict,” he added. “We have intense competition; we also have intense diplomacy.”

“At some point, we will see President Biden and President Xi come back together again. So as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing inconsistent with, on the one hand, competing vigorously in important domains on economics and technology, and also ensuring that that competition does not veer into conflict or confrontation,” the security advisor said.

“We believe there is nothing inevitable about some kind of conflict or cold war between the U.S. and China.”

The move comes after Beijing declined an invitation for a meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Chinese Communist Party’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

“Overnight, the [People’s Republic of China (PRC)] informed the U.S. that they have declined our early May invitation for Secretary Austin to meet with PRC Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu in Singapore this week,” the Pentagon said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

There have been constant efforts from U.S. officials to secure a face-to-face meeting with Beijing, including a direct letter from Austin to Li.

Yet the U.S. and its democratic allies have continued this push for dialogue despite dealing with Beijing-backed foreign interference and re-establishing its military in the Indo-Pacific in preparation for a potential outbreak of conflict around Taiwan.

“Open lines of communication with the People’s Republic of China are essential—especially between our defense and military leaders. For responsible defense leaders, the right time to talk is anytime, the right time to talk is everytime, and the right time to talk is now,” Austin wrote on Twitter while in Singapore.

Behind Official Dialogue, Competition Underway

In February, the U.S. shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, while days earlier, the Department of Justice charged two suspected Chinese agents for attempting to bribe officials to help undermine the spiritual faith, Falun Gong.

John Chen, a 70-year-old U.S. citizen born in China, and Lin Feng, a Chinese citizen aged 43, attempted to “manipulate the IRS Whistleblower Program, through bribery and deceit” in an attempt to strip a Falun Gong-run entity of its tax-exempt status, according to court filings unsealed on May 26.

Chen and Feng, who reside in California’s Chino City and Los Angeles, respectively, were arrested from their residences early Friday morning, a spokesperson from the FBI Los Angeles field office told The Epoch Times.

The action marks the first prosecution by U.S. authorities to deter the Chinese regime from targeting Falun Gong—a meditative practice that follows the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance—in the United States.

The spiritual practice surged in popularity in China during the 1990s, leading to an estimated 100 million practitioners in the country. However, the communist regime perceived the group’s growth as a threat to its grip on power and, for the past 23 years, has instigated a severe campaign of persecution targeting the group.

In April, the FBI arrested two individuals allegedly running a secret police station in New York to track down and silence Chinese dissidents living in the United States, prosecutors said.

The police station is believed to be one of more than 100 overseas stations operated by the Chinese regime in 53 countries, according to Safeguard Defenders, a Spain-based nonprofit.

From The Epoch Times

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