The Subliminal Forms of Threat and Intimidation in the CCP’s Bilateral Dialogues

August 9, 2021 Updated: August 9, 2021

Commentary

How interesting it is to see the contempt Beijing has for the Biden administration’s China policy of competition, cooperation, and confrontation when necessary. Recently, a number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) spokespersons have expressed harsh criticism and veiled threats toward the United States through so-called diplomatic dialogue.

Apparently, the CCP suspects that Biden’s China policy itself is a covert threat designed to boost the administration’s American interests and suppress China.

What the Communist Regime Says

For example, Xie Feng, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for the regime, said in a statement, “the competitive, collaborative and adversarial rhetoric” is a disguise for the United States’ true intention to “contain and suppress China.”

He claimed that the CCP sees the United States as taking an adversarial stance toward China, while “the collaborative aspect is just an expediency, and the competitive aspect is a narrative trap,” according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

In the July 26 talk with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Feng cautioned that China was consciously viewing the U.S. policy.

Feng’s stance before meeting with Sherman in Tianjin clearly showed the threatening diplomacy style, adopted by the CCP.

He said: “U.S. policy seems to be demanding cooperation when it wants something from China; decoupling, cutting off supplies, blockading or sanctioning China when it believes it has an advantage; and resorting to conflict and confrontation at all costs. It seems that the U.S. only thinks about addressing its own concerns, getting the results it wants and advancing its own interests. Do bad things and get good results. How is that ever possible?”

In addition, more than a month ago, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian called the U.S. policy a game of the West to impose self-interest and requirement on China.

The CCP’s aggressive diplomacy style was also displayed this March when the first diplomatic dialogue between the Biden administration and China took place in Alaska. Yang Jiechi, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, said: “The United States is not qualified to talk to China in a condescending manner.”

Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, also reiterated on July 24, “If the United States has not learned to treat other countries equally, China and the international community have the obligation to help the United States make up for this lesson.”

What the United States Says

Before Sherman’s trip, U.S. officials explained: “She’s going to underscore that we do not want that stiff and sustained competition to veer into conflict,” reported Reuters. “The U.S. wants to ensure that there are guardrails and parameters in place to responsibly manage the relationship,” and “Everyone needs to play by the same rules and on a level playing field.”

This highlights the two key points of U.S. diplomacy toward the CCP: the concept of values and the alliance of the international community. It also highlights the goal of U.S. diplomacy is to get the CCP to abide by international norms and cooperate with the United States and the international community—to prevent or stop the CCP from becoming another Soviet Union. The United States does not want to engage in a new cold war with the CCP.

Objectively speaking, Biden’s policy of competition, cooperation, and confrontation as appropriate is a big step backward from the new cold war encouraged by the Trump administration. It is an opportunity for the CCP to improve its bilateral relations with the United States.

But, the CCP has taken it as an opportunity to demand that the United States admit defeat and correct mistakes.

The CCP Does Not See Rules

At the meeting on July 26, the CCP put forward two lists to the United States: the List of U.S. Wrongdoings that Must Stop and the List of Key Individual Cases that China Has Concerns with, reported CCP mouthpiece Xinhua.

Epoch Times Photo
Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, of the Vancouver Uyghur Association, demonstrates against China’s treatment of Uyghurs while holding a photo of detained Canadians Michael Spavor (L) and Michael Kovrig outside a court appearance for Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, Canada, on May 8, 2019. (Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images)

As for the specifics of the wrongdoings and cases, the CCP spokesperson, Zhao, explained at a press conference, “In the list of wrongdoings, China urges the U.S. side to unconditionally revoke visa restrictions on members of the Communist Party of China and their family members; revoke sanctions on Chinese leaders, officials, and government agencies; and cancel visa restrictions on Chinese students.”

The key case is to stop the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s telecom giant Huawei. She was arrested in 2018 by Canadian authorities at Vancouver’s airport as a result of a U.S. extradition hearing. The United States accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. Meng, 49, allegedly committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

The CCP’s rogue nature is once again clearly manifested in its diplomatic press release.

The world is becoming a global village where all nations are intertwined with common interests and where cooperation is paramount. But, let’s see what Feng said about cooperation during the Tianjin dialogue, “The U.S. side sought China’s cooperation and support on climate change, Iran, and the Korean nuclear issue among others.” Feng said that China is already cooperating on these issues, but actually, the CCP is taking advantage of the United States’ efforts to handle global interests.

For example, the nuclear tests conducted by North Korea are harmful to the northeastern areas of China, but the CCP would rather take the risk of letting North Korea conduct the testing at the cost of the Chinese people’s lives in order to constrain the United States. 

North Korea’s nuclear development had long been sanctioned by the United Nations. It was not until the Trump administration took a tough stance on North Korea that the CCP was forced to back the sanction. When Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, met at the demilitarized zone in Panmunjom, South Korea, that marked the success of the Trump administration in the nuclear talks—bypassing the CCP.

The CCP’s refusal to back the sanctions against North Korea was a tactic to intimidate the United States in the name of global interests. 

Threats Are Used to Cover Up the CCP’s Weakness

Immediately following the dialogue in Tianjin, Wang Yi released the CCP’s three bottom lines that the United States must perform. Many Chinese media outlets interpreted it as an “unprecedented move” in the CCP’s history. According to reports, this is the first time that the regime laid down a “red line” for bilateral relations and laid out remedial measures in order for the United States to repair the relationship.

However, Le Yucheng, Vice Foreign Minister, admitted in an interview with guancha.cn on July 9 that, “In terms of strength, the U.S. is still the world’s number one power and superpower, and it can’t be surpassed for a long time.” This statement reveals that the CCP is fully aware of its weakness.

Nonetheless, the CCP continues to posture a tough and abusive diplomacy with its slogan, “The West is declining, the East is uprising.” The CCP maintains an arrogant position on Biden’s China policy.

Biden’s China policy is far different from the Trump administration’s stance of “fair and reciprocal” and “distrust and verify.” The United States is in no way pro-war, but rather than seizing the opportunity to collaborate with the Biden administration in an effort to negotiate the China policy, the CCP adopted a confrontational stance. This tactic of threat has left the CCP in isolation, even though it should be fully aware that Beijing needs the world for its economy more than the world needs the CCP for a healthy economy. The CCP has outplayed itself, which, to me, is suicidal.

On the other hand, the West has begun to fall into the CCP’s propaganda trap thinking the world needs China and the large Chinese population in trade and economy. The CCP exploits the vast Chinese population and touts it as acting in the best interest of the people, and then relies on it to threaten the United States and the international community. The fact is that the CCP relies on the innocent Chinese people to sustain its tyranny.

Since the CCP took power in China, the threat has been displayed to its fullest. It deceived the Chinese people and made them believe that the United States is their biggest enemy and the CCP is watching out for them. Now, it’s deceiving the West to make them believe they can’t survive without China. In fact, the CCP is itself the weakest link.

The U.S. policymakers should have seen it clearly that the communist dictatorship relies on threats to rule the country and now to coerce the world. The CCP totally rejects the ideas of competition and cooperation because it has nothing to offer in these regards. It further refuses to go by international rules because this professional gang sees no rules. Confrontation is the CCP’s game of struggle in the international arena. Falling into its threat, the West is doomed by its endless greed to take advantage of democracy. The West needs to recognize that threat is actually fear that can be conquered.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Wang He
Wang He
Wang He has master’s degrees in law and history, and has studied the international communist movement. He was a university lecturer and an executive of a large private firm in China. Wang now lives in North America and has published commentaries on China’s current affairs and politics since 2017.