China signals reopening in 2023
- Chinese President Xi Jinping has finished his trip to Southeast Asia and returned to China. On Friday, he said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that China would “consider” hosting the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation next year. Many believe that the President was hinting at the country’s reopening in 2023.
- At a conference last week, Liu Shijin, a top state economist and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said China should set its GDP growth target at 5% or above next year. “The top priority now is getting economic growth back to a normal track or an appropriate range,” Liu said.
- However, the recent COVID surge in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Guangzhou, and Chongqing poses new challenges to the relaxation of the restrictions.
Harris pays trip near South China Sea
- U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will arrive in Palawan today, making her the highest-ranking U.S. official visiting the Philippine island. Palawan borders the South China Sea and neighbors the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands), where territorial disputes between China and the Philippines are centered. The unusual visit is likely to sour the U.S.-China relationship that is thawing after the meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi.
- Xi met with Harris briefly at the APEC summit in Thailand on Saturday. According to the White House, Harris “noted a key message…: we must maintain open lines of communication to responsibly manage the competition between our countries.” “I hope both sides will step up mutual understanding, reduce misunderstanding and misjudgment, and together push for China-U.S. relations to return to a healthy and stable track,” Xi said.
Chinese, U.S. defense ministers meet
- U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe resumed their suspended talks today as the two military officials attend an ASEAN defense ministerial meeting in Cambodia.
- Wei stressed (Zh) that the Taiwan issue is “the core of China’s core interests” (中国核心利益中的核心) and “the first insurmountable red line in China-U.S. relations” (中美关系第一条不可逾越的红线). He added that the Chinese military has the confidence and ability to defend the unity of the motherland.
- Austin reiterated the U.S.’s one-China policy and its opposition to “unilateral changes to the status quo” across the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. military chief also raised concerns about weapon-related issues in Russia and North Korea.
U.S., EU to take no China’s ‘non-market’ policies
- The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai are expected to meet with European Commission Vice Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager and Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton in Washington, D.C., on December 5. As part of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the two sides will discuss how to counter so-called “non-market policies” in economies like China. China’s medical-devices industry and government-controlled investment funds could be high on their agenda.