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January 26, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

In an ongoing effort to alleviate tensions between China and the United States, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are expected to meet in Bangkok this weekend, while they're both in the city meeting separately with Thai officials.

This is the first high-level encounter between Washington and Beijing since the summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of APEC in November, marking the commitment made by both sides to maintain strategic communication and responsibly manage the relationship.

Wang and Sullivan quietly met in Vienna and Malta last year, which were pivotal moments in paving the way for the Xi-Biden Summit. In line with their past low-key exchanges, the low public profile of this meeting will allow the two officials to discuss "sensitive issues with confidence the exchange will remain private," said Ryan Hass, a China expert at the Brookings Institution.

He also noted that as Sullivan and Wang have invested considerable time together, "they understand each other's constraints and priorities," allowing them to "deepen their discussions with each passing exchange, rather than repeat talking points to each other."

The meeting also follows Lai Ching-te's victory in the Taiwan presidential elections, and after Washington's recent pressure on Beijing to persuade Tehran to rein in Yemen-based Houthi rebels, responsible for recent attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

In reference to the meeting, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Wang Yi "will make clear China's position on China-U.S. relations and the Taiwan issue, and exchange views with the U.S. on international and regional issues of mutual concern."

He also emphasized China's active involvement in addressing the Red Sea conflicts, stating that the country has been in "close communication with all parties concerned" and is actively working to de-escalate the situation, following calls for calls for the maintenance of supply chains and the international trade order.

Stay up to date on the latest international relations developments by catching up on our latest Focus content, including topics on the Chinese economy, nuclear dialogues, and Russia's impact on China-U.S. relations.

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In our Focus Insights section, we featured an article by Doug Bandow, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, where he explores various challenges encountered by Western and Chinese investors in China and analyzes their potential economic implications.

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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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