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CUSEF Express - May 27, 2022

2022-05-27
Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.
Daily highlights of developments that affect China and the U.S.

Blinken delivers first China Policy speech

  • U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a long-awaited speech on China on Thursday, saying the U.S. was determined to avoid conflict and a new Cold War with China. However, in the Biden administration’s first public overview of its China policy, the state secretary pointed out that China posed "the most serious long-term challenge” to the international order and that China was pursuing “asymmetric decoupling.”
  • Blinken summed up the U.S. response to the challenge in three words — “invest, align, compete:”
    • Firstly, to invest in the competitiveness, innovation, and democracy, which are the foundation of the U.S. strength;
    • Secondly, to create a strategic environment around China to advance the U.S. vision for “an open and inclusive international system”; and
    • Thirdly, to outcompete China in innovation, technology, and manufacturing.
  • Both China and the U.S. claim they advocate an open, inclusive, and rule-based international order while pointing the fingers at each other for their departing from cooperative behavior. Washington accuses Beijing of pursuing decoupling and “autocracy” that challenges the international order. On the other hand, Beijing blames Washington for diplomatic bullying and its bloc-against-bloc mentality.

China lays out more economic measures

  • After Wednesday’s unprecedented nationwide teleconference chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, Chinese authorities have announced various policies to boost the economy.
    • The State Council issued a circular (Ch) on ensuring steady and high-quality growth in foreign trade.
    • The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) pledged (Ch) to “make all-out efforts” to support foreign trade businesses on their supply chains.
    • The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) sent out a notice (Ch), asking state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rents, utilities, loans, and supply chains.
    • The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) released a notice (Ch) to promote financial services for SMEs.
    • Cities like Shenzhen and provinces like Hubei have relaxed the restrictions on vehicle purchase, with more regions to follow.
  • On Thursday, China’s National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) said in a statement (Ch) that the regional governments should use their fiscal reserves to fund the regular COVID testing. Regional authorities used to cover the mass testing costs with their medical insurance funds established to reimburse individual health care. The statement also set the price caps of COVID tests. The measure is expected to curb the misuse of resources in mass testing.

China, Solomon Islands will strengthen ties

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his counterpart in the Solomon Islands, Jeremiah Manele, on Thursday, saying China was willing to forge "iron-clad" ties with the Solomon Islands (将中所关系打造得越来越“铁”). The country is the first stop of Wang’s tour to the Pacific island states. Honiara recently signed a security framework agreement with China, unsettling the U.S. and its allies near the Solomon Islands.
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