Diao Daming: Senior CPC official's US trip to push bilateral ties for a stable start in 2024


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Diao Daming: Senior CPC official's US trip to push bilateral ties for a stable start in 2024


Source: GT Published: 2024-01-09

Liu Jianchao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, became the first senior CPC official to visit the US since the summit meeting between two heads of state in San Francisco last November. Chinese experts believe Liu's visit, apart from allowing inter-party diplomacy to play bigger role in bilateral relations, also seeks to help push for more stable China-US ties in 2024 when relations are anticipated to encounter more turbulence.

In a seminar under the 'Track 1.5 Dialogue' framework held in New York on Monday local time, Liu said that both countries should implement the important consensus reached by the heads of state, establish a correct understanding jointly, effectively manage differences, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, shoulder the responsibilities of major countries together, and promote people-to-people exchanges together. John Thornton, co-chair of the Asia Society's Board of Trustees and Daniel Russel, former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs also participated in the event.

The International Department of the CPC Central Committee is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the Asia Society, operate the 'Track 1.5 Dialogue' mechanism well, and contribute to the stable, healthy, and sustainable development of bilateral relations, Liu said.

Liu is also scheduled to deliver a speech at Council on Foreign Relations, an American think tank at an event titled The Future of China and China-US Relations: A Conversation With Liu Jianchao, on Tuesday local time.

As head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Liu's visit to the US aims to make inter-party diplomacy play a more positive role in China-US relations, Diao Daming, an expert on US studies at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that the visit is also expected to further implement consensus reached by two heads of state in San Francisco in November last year, and seek to promote cooperation.

In 2023, Liu met with multiple US officials and government representatives, including US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns in April 2023, and a California local government delegation led by Mike Fong, California State Assemblyman and Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, in October.

The International Department of the CPC Central Committee also held a 'Track 1.5 Dialogue' with Asia Society via video in October last year.

Li Haidong, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University, stated that the decision to send Liu, a seasoned diplomat and influential figure in China's diplomacy, to visit the US early this year serves two purposes: first, it demonstrates China's commitment to fostering communication and dialogue with the US; second, it is hoped that Liu's visit will contribute to stabilizing China-US relationship during a year that is anticipated to bring numerous challenges, including the upcoming Taiwan regional leader election and the US presidential election.

Since the San Francisco summit, experts have described the relationship between the two countries as being in a state of 'dynamic stability.' While both nations are trying to maintain stability in a general sense, the US has not yet scaled back its intention to suppress China. Specifically, Washington has been actively challenging China's interests in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question.

Diao said to tussle on one hand and cooperate on the other is and will be the new normal of China-US interactions, and Liu's visit is a reflection of such a scenario.

Liu's trip to the US has attracted wide media coverage, especially in the island of Taiwan. Some Taiwan media speculate the Taiwan question will be a priority in the discussions as the Taiwan regional leader election will be held this weekend.

On Sunday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that China has decided to impose sanctions on five US defense companies over their arms sales to island of Taiwan. Citing a Pentagon release last month, Reuters reported that the US State Department has approved a $300 million sale of equipment to help maintain the island of Taiwan's tactical information systems.

Li said that during his visit, Liu will reiterate in powerful language China's bottom line to the US in regard of Taiwan question, warning the US about the danger of colluding with Taiwan secessionists and interfering with the Taiwan question.