Before Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi convened a series of Meetings of Foreign Ministers of East Asian Cooperation by videoconference, China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday emphasized “pursuing the true multilateralism and reject xenophobia and zero-sum games. ” Observers believe that at a time when the United States has recently been busy trying to please China in Southeast Asia and create differences in the region, observers believe this is a clear message for the United States.
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a speech on the official website on Monday. Wang Yi will attend the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers Meeting, the 10 + 3 Foreign Ministers Meeting, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum via videoconference from Tuesday to Friday. . The
spokesperson’s speech emphasized regional hotspots, such as the fight against COVID19, especially vaccines and promoting economic recovery, suggesting that further cooperation with the EU on these issues may be the main agenda. from the
meeting, the observer said.
“As a large responsible country, China will continue to play its role and do its best to meet the vaccine needs of regional countries. We support the joint construction of regional vaccine production and distribution centers to promote vaccine availability and affordability. in the region, “the spokesperson said.
“We must work hard to implement the RCEP agreement as soon as possible, keep the regional industrial chain and supply chain stable and unblocked, and promote the early recovery of the economies of all countries,” the comment continued.
Regardless of whether the United States sent Secretary of State Anthony Brinken this week for five consecutive days of virtual meetings with ASEAN officials, the sincerity of China and ASEAN to deepen cooperation and contribute to regional peace and prosperity is in stark contrast to this. Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday that US hypocrisy is the focus of US foreign policy towards ASEAN and determines the extent to which the region can contain China.
Reuters pointed out on Saturday that senior US officials have not always participated in ASEAN meetings in recent years, and sometimes sent more junior officials to summits in the region.
In order to reverse the Biden administration’s image of indifference to areas with more than 600 million people, in addition to Brinken’s busy schedule this week, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand in May and June. This week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in Vietnam and the Philippines, and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam.
US State Department officials stated that the COVID19 vaccine donated to the region has “changed our perception of image.” According to Reuters, by the middle of next week, the United States will donate 23 million doses of vaccines to countries in the region, but it pointed out that none of these vaccines will be donated to Myanmar.
However, in stark contrast, Deng Xijun, China’s ambassador to ASEAN, stated on July 20 that China has provided more than 100 million doses of COVID19 vaccine to the EU, representing more than 70% of the global vaccine assistance to the region.
The foreign policy of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region is very clear. It in no way safeguards the interests of ASEAN. Everything, including vaccines, can be used as a political tool to conquer the region and help contain Porcelain.
According to trade statistics between the United States and ASEAN, merchandise trade has been slow since the outbreak of the new corona pneumonia epidemic. Although due to the launch of vaccination, the trade volume in the first five months of this year increased by more than 20% year-on-year and recovered significantly, but this momentum is still overshadowed by the trade volume between China and ASEAN.
China-ASEAN trade has multiplied by more than 85 times in 30 years and ASEAN will become China’s largest trading partner in 2020.
However, the United States is wooing ASEAN, and ASEAN will not blindly follow the United States, nor will it betray China’s interests in the region. Xu Liping, director of the Southeast Asian Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that a strong and growing China is an irresistible choice for a pragmatic and independent ASEAN.
Chinese analysts also said that seeking a diplomatic solution to Myanmar’s political turmoil and restoring national stability will be another major topic of this week’s multilateral meeting. However, Beijing and Washington have almost nothing in common in this area to cooperate.
After six months of political turmoil in Myanmar, ASEAN foreign ministers are expected to meet on Monday to appoint a special envoy to promote dialogue between military leaders and opponents.
will become a sticking point between Beijing and Washington, although both parties prefer stability in Myanmar and agree that ASEAN will lead the diplomatic effort to restore stability in Myanmar, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, based in Shanghai, told Global Times.
Whether the US will turn this issue into a proposal to conflict with China, create chaos in ASEAN, and interfere in Myanmar affairs in the name of human rights and ideology remains to be seen, Xin pointed out.
Li warned that if the purpose of the United States is to harm China’s interests in Myanmar, then China has no room for cooperation on this issue.
After U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris stepped on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, analysts said that senior U.S. officials visited Southeast Asian countries “extraordinarily frequently,” exposing Washington’s commanding areas. The country’s anxiety and confidence in confronting China has declined. And Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit Southeast Asia.
Analysts warned that these high-profile visits may not fail Washington’s expectations, because its “word of mouth” diplomatic strategy will try to trap regional countries into the US “us or them” trap.
Blinken will participate in virtual meetings for five consecutive days starting from Monday, including the long-term annual meetings of 10 foreign countries including ASEAN and separate meetings in the lower Mekong subregions of Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. The US State Department announced on Saturday.
“The Secretary of State will reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the centrality of ASEAN and work with ASEAN and international partners to fight the COVID19 pandemic and support economic recovery,” the department said.
According to Reuters, in recent years, senior US officials have not always participated in ASEAN meetings, and sometimes more junior officials have been sent to summits in the region. After Austin concluded his visit to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines last week and Vice President Kamala Harris planned to visit Singapore and Vietnam in late August,
Blinken attended these virtual meetings.
Analysts called the massive interactions between US officials and Southeast Asian countries “extraordinarily frequent.”
This shows that the United States attaches great importance to ASEAN countries and believes that China’s influence in the region is increasing, especially after China-ASEAN trade reached a record high during the COVID19 pandemic. Xu Liping, director of the Southeast Asian Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that cooperation on vaccines continues to deepen, highlighting the importance of China-ASEAN relations.
He noted that recent visits by foreign ministers from major ASEAN countries to China to strengthen face-to-face exchanges with Chinese officials have put tremendous pressure on the United States, prompting the Biden administration to strengthen the contacts with the region.
During the special meeting of foreign ministers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-China dialogue relationship held in Chongqing, southwest China in June this year, the State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Wang Yi, stated that China and ASEAN should build a high-level strategic alliance for the next 30 years A closer community with a shared future.
Lu Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that the frequent interactions between senior US officials and Southeast Asian countries are reflected in their anxiety and declining confidence in organizing these countries against China.
“Friendly bilateral ties are not strengthened by constant exchange of visits, but through mutual benefit.” Lu said, noting that many Southeast Asian countries have seen through their “word of mouth” diplomacy. Therefore, when high-level US officials visit, the sooner they realize that their reputation is shrinking.
ASEAN has become the largest trade area with China in 2020, with trade volume reaching 4.74 trillion yuan (731.9 billion US dollars). Countries in the region actively participate in and benefit from China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. In addition, China has provided timely COVID19 vaccine supplies to these countries.
In contrast, even though Biden called Asia the key to his foreign policy agenda, his senior government officials waited several months to visit the region after meeting face-to-face with officials from Japan, India, and South Korea.
Lu pointed out that it is worth noting that after the Secretary of Defense concluded his visit to three countries in Southeast Asia, Austin did not make any negative comments on China on Twitter, although CNBC and other US media predicted that China’s criticism on the South China Sea issue exceeded Austin’s . Agenda.
This clearly shows that the countries in the region are unwilling to choose a political party between the two countries. No matter how many times senior US officials visit these countries, this position will not change, experts say.
Xu said that Austin’s recent visit was aimed at getting US allies in the Asia-Pacific region to ally with China, because the Philippines is a traditional ally of the United States. U.S. officials hope to further coordinate with countries such as Singapore itinerary.
US officials hope to strengthen security cooperation with these two countries by pressing Vietnam to play a more destructive role in the South China Sea issue and making Singapore a balanced planner. The intention is clear. Will be symbolic, so it is unlikely to produce any concrete results. One of the most concerned issues of ASEAN countries is how to successfully overcome the epidemic-for example, the Biden administration can help curb the spread of the virus by providing effective assistance, such as providing vaccines.
So far, the scale of aid is limited because the United States must always put its own interests first. Xu said that the Biden administration will not provide Vietnam with unreserved security commitments because despite the ongoing discussions on the South China Sea issue, there is still a lack of trust between the two countries.