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April 05, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

Dear Focus Reader,

It was a week filled with dialogue between senior leaders of China and the United States.

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping had a phone call on Tuesday, their first interaction since meeting on the sidelines of APEC in November. A senior U.S. official described the conversation as a "check-in" on the state of bilateral ties following the San Francisco summit.

The leaders reportedly discussed largely predictable topics, including spaces for cooperation like countering narcotics, artificial intelligence, and climate change, and even agreed that the relationship is stabilizing.

But the conversation intensified surrounding U.S. technology export restrictions. In line with previous remarks, Biden emphasized that the restrictions are necessary to "prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment." But as anticipated, Xi rebutted, according to reports, saying the list of sanctioned Chinese companies is growing, suppressing Chinese development, and that these measures aren't "de-risking," but rather creating risks for the bilateral ties.

While no particularly monumental agreements were made on the call, it officially kicked off what looks to be a series of renewed diplomatic activities.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is currently in Beijing for meetings with various Chinese officials, including Premier Li Qiang and Vice Premier He Lifeng, where she intends to underscore the "global economic consequences of Chinese industrial overcapacity."

We can also likely expect Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit China in the coming months, as well as a call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart.

To stay in the know about the latest in China-U.S. policy, catch up on our latest Focus content, including articles covering China's economy, China-ROK-Japan relations, the electric vehicle market.

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's recent visit to South Korea included the third Summit for Democracy and a meeting with the Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul — the third in a month…The flurry of senior-level exchanges seemed intended to signal the strength of the alliance, which has evolved into a global comprehensive strategy."
Zhong Yin
Research Professor, Research Institute of Global Chinese and Area Studies, Beijing Language and Culture University

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Notable Number

The percentage of global GDP per capita reached by China's BYD Seagull model electric vehicle, indicating the affordability and competitive pricing of Chinese EVs in the international market.

Learn more in "China's Electric Leapfrogging Forward: Unassailable Lead or a Mirage?," by Vasilis Trigkas, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.

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

Qingming Festival | Tasmin Little

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The ancient festival of Qingming is celebrated by Chinese communities around the globe, as a way of remembering and honoring departed loved ones.
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Question of the Week:

In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III, a Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways, where he delves into the South China Sea dispute's economic, diplomatic, and developmental ramifications for the Philippines and the region.

We want to hear from you:

The article suggests other Southeast Asian countries seem to take a more balanced approach, managing their differences with China while seeking economic cooperation. Do you think the Philippines should adopt a similar strategy, or is its confrontational approach is justified?

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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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