Sino-US Talks in Washington

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Sino-US Talks in Washington

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

High-level bilateral security talks take place on Wednesday against the backdrop of US citizen Otto Warmbier’s death – after returning home from North Korean imprisonment on charges of subversion for stealing propaganda material.

According to senior US diplomat for East Asia Susan Thornton, North Korea will get “top billing” in discussions. Washington seeks more “concrete cooperation” from Beijing on halting Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The DPRK considers them an essential deterrent against threatened US aggression. Giving them up isn’t an option. It would leave the country defenseless against an American onslaught.

The lesson of Washington’s 1950s aggression and multiple ongoing wars today is only powerful weapons can hope to deter another imperial war against its country.

Secretary of State Tillerson and Defense Secretary Mattis are hosting China’s foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi and People’s Liberation Army’s joint staff department chief General Fang Fenghui.

Talks will also cover Sino-US South China Sea activities and other military-related issues. Divisive trade ones will be dealt with at a later time.

Last week, Tillerson called China’s efforts on North Korea “uneven.” According to its Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, Beijing hopes Wednesday’s discussions will be positive.

On Monday, China’s Global Times (GT) said the Trump administration is expected to take a hardline with Beijing in Wednesday talks.

It called Washington policy based on the “belief that (it can) absolutely dominate China-US relations and wantonly manipulate issues concerning China’s core interests…arrogant and distorted.”

Beijing rejects US pressure to go along with its policies. Pentagon warships still provocatively assert “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea where they don’t belong.

“Unless the Trump administration relaxes its restrictions on high-tech exports to China, stops selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, cancels the Taiwan Relations Act, orders a halt on close-in reconnaissance over Chinese waters, suspends the deployment of the anti-missile batteries in South Korea, and opens more US markets to China, we don’t feel that Washington has made any concessions to China,” GT explained.

Resolving the North Korea issue requires diplomacy, compromise, and consensus, not bullying, other type pressure and threats the way Washington operates.

Warmbier’s death, extensively reported by US media scoundrels, complicates things further.

Beijing believes Washington may use it as a pretext to exert greater pressure on Beijing to be tougher on the DPRK, something its leadership rejects – refusing to act as a “US ally” against Pyongyang.

If America sanctions Chinese enterprises for dealing with North Korea, bilateral relations will suffer.

It’s unclear if anything constructive will come out of Wednesday talks – given how Washington wants China going along with its way, instead of building mutually acceptable consensus on all important issues.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.