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January 12, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

Dear Focus Reader,

On top of an array of events poised to impact the China-U.S. relationship in 2024, including the U.S. elections and the quickly approaching elections in Taiwan, this year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In a recent speech about the anniversary, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Washington and Beijing must insist on peaceful coexistence and transcend their differences like they did when they established relations 45 years ago.

"China-U.S. cooperation is no longer a dispensable option for the two countries or even for the world, but a must-answer question that must be seriously addressed," he noted.

Additionally, Wang promised that by the year's end, giant pandas would also make a comeback to the United States, specifically California.

U.S. President Joe Biden also commemorated the anniversary in a letter to President Xi Jinping, according to Chinese officials. Biden discussed how the bilateral relationship has promoted prosperity and opportunity in the United States, China, and the world, and committed to advancing the progress they have made together.

But as the two nations commemorate this milestone, their ties will be tested as Taiwanese voters head to the polls this weekend. The elections are a three-way race, and a core issue for voters will be their vision for Taipei's relationship with Beijing. China's Defense Ministry issued a statement ahead of the elections warning it would "smash any Taiwan independence plots", according to reports.

As tensions across the strait increase, Washington has stated it's prepared to work with both Taipei and Beijing to "avoid miscalculations and an escalation in tensions, regardless of which presidential candidate wins."

For now, catch up on our latest Focus content, including topics covering China's economy, the Taiwan elections, and the evolving subsidy race.

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"It is still premature to conclude that the Xi-Biden meeting met the modest U.S. goal of stabilizing, or even setting a floor under, the Sino-American relationship. The deliverables at the summit primarily comprised promises to take future steps—and the next year is primed for problems."
Richard Weitz
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Read More

Notable Number

The number of countries, including China, the United States, and the European Union, that signed the Bletchley Declaration in November, articulating a shared view about AI concerns, and vowing to follow up with an AI governance agenda.

Read more in "Navigating the Complex World of AI," by Li Zheng, Assistant Research Processor, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations

Discover More
A look into cultural stories from our affiliate platform, The China Current.

Ning Feng | Tasmin Little

Watch Video
About to star in a beautiful program at Hong Kong's stunning City Hall on January 17, 2024, Ning Feng is a highly acclaimed violinist known for his captivating performances and virtuosic talent. Last year, Tasmin Little had the pleasure of witnessing the UK premiere of a glorious new violin concerto by Chinese composer Zhao Jiping. She asked Ning Feng to tell her about this piece and the experience of premiering an important new work.
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Question of the Week:

In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article from Chaminade University professor Chris McNally where he discusses China's ongoing efforts to rebalance its economy, particularly in reducing reliance on exports and real estate investment, and the challenges and risks associated with this transition.

We want to hear from you:

How do you think China's economic rebalancing will influence global economic dynamics and trade relationships? How would you compare China's economic rebalancing approach with that of other major economies?

Submit your thoughts to for a chance to be featured in next week's Focus This Week.

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About Focus This Week

Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China and the U.S. every week. It is a community space to exchange thoughts and ideas about the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

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