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Biden Official Bows To CCP Leader

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been criticized for her effusive bowing to Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during her first visit to China despite it going against official US protocol.

The diplomatic misstep was seen as a sign of American weakness to some, as Yellen bowed multiple times and even stumbled over the Vice Premier’s name.

The Washington Post called the kowtowing “an embarrassing violation of diplomatic protocol” for the Biden administration in their efforts to smooth a rocky relationship.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Yellen said that the talks had been “direct, substantive, and productive”.

The trip was a part of the Biden administration’s push to reach out and improve communication with China, following Antony Blinken’s visit last month.

Their dialogue came amidst simmering Chinese anger at Biden’s “dictator” remark last month.

However, the US Treasury Secretary stressed the need for the two superpowers to collaborate on climate financing and on the “existential threat” posed by climate change.

Despite her talks, no concrete agreements were made and Yellen made it clear that “there are significant disagreements” between the two countries.

On trade curbs, she said they were “motivated by straightforward national security considerations” only.

Yellen also raised ‘serious concerns’ about the unfair economic practices of Beijing, saying that some American firms have recently been subject to “coercive actions”.

Despite this, she said that the two nations should “find a way to live together and share in global prosperity”.

On Friday, the US warned its citizens against traveling to China, citing the risk of arbitrary detention and the Foreign Relations Law that threatens countermeasures against foreign critics.

The announcement followed the sentencing of a 78-year-old US citizen on spurious spying charges in May.

The advisory also noted how the Chinese government had wide discretion to deem any materials or documents as “state secrets” and detain and prosecute any foreign nationals.

Any activities from taking part in demonstrations to sending critical electronic messages or even researching sensitive issues can be seen as criminal.

To top it off, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent 13 aircraft and 6 vessels into airspace and waters around Taiwan on Saturday, which overlapped with Yellen’s visit.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning scolded Biden’s comments were “baseless political provocation”, while she urged the US to handle it “in a calm and professional manner”.

The US-China relationship has been notoriously strained in recent years, with misunderstandings and aggressive posturing from both sides.

It seems that Yellen’s diplomatic visit was nothing more than a talking shop, with Blinken saying that the trip was meant to help build “sustained lines of communication” only.

Whether any meaningful breakthroughs will be made by the Biden administration or Chinese leader Xi Jinping remains to be seen.

It is clear though that the US will have to face the issues of human rights, cyberspying, intelligence sharing, trade tension, and US-Taiwan relations if it hopes to have a more stable and cordial relationship with the powerful Asian superpower.

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