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February 23, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

Dear Focus Reader,

In ongoing efforts to increase dialogue between officials from Washington and Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a "candid, substantive and constructive" meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference last week.

The two sides discussed the importance of exchanges at all levels and agreed to maintain dialogue and communication in various fields to further deliver on the "San Francisco vision."

In line with previous conversations, Wang also emphasized that attempts to "de-risk" and to build "a small yard with high fences" will ultimately backfire on the U.S., though Washington maintains its position that "de-risking" is to protect American national security, not to harm Chinese interests.

Wang reiterated this point in a speech at the conference, highlighting the European Union's efforts to "de-risk," and stating that China can't be sliced out of world trade. "The trend toward economic globalization cannot be reversed," he said, also claiming that "those who attempt to shut China out in the name of de-risking will make a historical mistake."

Additionally, amidst China's ongoing domestic economic challenges, there was a glimmer of optimism surrounding Spring Festival travels, which were up 19 percent compared to the same period in 2019. Spending also increased by over 7%, prompting officials to suggest the figures indicate "economic momentum" and "revitalized consumption." However, some analysts have noted that spending did not rise proportionately with travel, suggesting a trend of spending less on each individual trip.

Catch up on our latest Focus content to stay up to date on China policy, including topics on the Russia-Ukraine war, China-Vietnam relations, and China's economic outlook.

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"If NATO sends forces to Ukraine to win the war, it will create two major risks that could pull the whole world into an abyss of suffering: It will escalate a conventional war into a nuclear war, and turn a local war into a world war."
Fan Gaoyue
Guest Professor at Sichuan University

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Notable Number

The percentage of forecasted economic growth for China in 2024, with the possibility of reaching 5% depending on policy strength.

Learn more in "China's 2024 Economic Outlook" by Xu Hongcai, Deputy Director of the Economic Policy Commission.

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

My Memories: Columbia University Students Reflect on China Tour

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In January, CUSEF invited students from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs—the first American delegation to visit China in 2024. They spoke to The China Current about the memories they took away from that trip.
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In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Sebastian Contin Trillo-Figueroa analyzing the impact of the Ukraine conflict on global geopolitics, emphasizing the diminishing interventionist role of the United States and China's strategic neutrality.

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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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