US - China

Chronology from May 2021 to Aug 2021

: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Secretary Blinken hold a phone conversation, exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan and bilateral ties.

: Office of The Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and National Intelligence Council releases its Summary of Assessment on COVID-19 origins, concluding with “low confidence” that the virus was “probably not” genetically engineered. President Biden issues a statement on the report.

: Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd and Coast Guard National Security Cutter USCG Munro passthrough the Taiwan Strait, marking the eighth transit of the waters this year by a US warship.

: US Department of Justice requires Hong Kong-based news outlet Sing Tao to register subsidiaries in the US as foreign agents.

: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China Michael Chase and PLA Maj. Gen, Huang Xueping conduct a secure video conference via the US-PRC Defense Telephone Link.

: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchanges views with Secretary Blinken over the phone on the situation in Afghanistan.

: Adm. Charles Richard, head of the US Strategic Command, states at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium that China’s investments in its nuclear arsenal constitute “strategic breakout” and will shortly allow Beijing to execute “any plausible nuclear” strategy it wishes to pursue.

: Secretary Blinken condemns Beijing’s sentencing of Canadian citizen Michael Spavor, saying his detention was politically motivated, and calls for the immediate release of all people ‘arbitrarily’ detained in China.

: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets Qin Gang, China’s new ambassador to the US, at the State Department in Washington.

: Speaking in the UN Security Council, Secretary Blinken and China’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dai Bing blame each other’s country for creating instability in the South China Sea.

: Speaking virtually at the ASEAN Regional Forum foreign ministers’ meeting, Secretary Blinken tells the closed-door gathering that China’s expanding nuclear capabilities highlight how “Beijing has sharply deviated from its decades-old nuclear strategy based on minimum deterrence.”

: President Biden directs Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong residents in the United States for 18 months, joining US partners and allies in offering save haven to residents fearful of returning to Hong Kong.

: Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces that the State Department has approved the sale of a new arms package to Taiwan. The package features 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems, among other equipment.

: Senate Intelligence Committee hosts a public hearing entitled “Beijing’s Long Arm: Threats to US National Security.”

: State Department spokesman Ned Price states that there is an “alignment of interests” between what the US and China seek in Afghanistan.

: US Securities and Exchange Commission says that it will require additional disclosures from Chinese companies seeking public listings in the US.

: US destroyer USS Benfold, transits the Taiwan Strait.

: During his visit to New Delhi, Secretary Blinken meets Ngodup Dongchung, a representative of the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan government in exile.

: Newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to United States Qin Gang arrives in Washington and hosts a news conference hours after his arrival, during which he calls for Washington and Beijing to “rebuild trust.”

: US Naval Chief Adm. Michael Gilday states that the US would ensure “all nations can benefit from resource-rich international waters” and that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law and the Sea (UNCLOS) is “enforceable” and “unambiguous.”

: President Biden warns that the US could end up in a “real shooting war” with a “major power” as the result of a significant cyber-attack on the country.

: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visits Tianjin and meets with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Minister Xie Feng.

: US prosecutors drop case against five Chinese researchers accused of concealing ties to the PLA on their visa applications. Prosecutors gave no explanation as to why charges were withdrawn.

: China retaliates against the July 16 US imposition of financial sanctions on officials in the Liaison Office of the Hong Kong government, imposing sanctions on seven US individuals and an entity, including former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

: A federal grand jury in New York files an indictment charging nine individuals with acting and conspiring to act in the US as illegal agents of the PRC.

: House Armed Services Committee’s Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force releases report calling for provisions in the upcoming defense policy bill that will require the Pentagon to reduce reliance on Chinese-sourced products.

: US Joint Cybersecurity Advisory, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation release alert attributing phishing and intrusion campaign activities targeting 23 US natural gas pipeline operators from 2011 to 2013 to Chinese state-sponsored actors.

: House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation hosts a subcommittee hearing on US-European Cooperation on China and the Broader Indo-Pacific.

: United States, along with many of its allies, criticize the PRC’s use of criminal contract hackers to conduct unsanctioned cyber operations globally. Secretary Blinken releases a statement condemning China’s alleged disruptive and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace and its threat to US economic and national security.

: Department of Justice charges four Chinese nationals who allegedly work for the Hainan State Security Department, a provincial arm of the Ministry of State Security, with hacking the computer systems of dozens of companies, universities, and government entities in the US and abroad between 2011 and 2018.

: Treasury Department adds seven people from China’s Hong Kong Liaison office to its “specially designated nationals list.”

: Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security issue a business advisory to warn US businesses of risks to their activities in Hong Kong and encourage due diligence to mitigate such risks.

: Secretary Blinken issues a statement to mark one year since China imposed the National Security Law on Hong Kong, noting how Hong Kong’s democracy has been undermined and expressing the US commitment to supporting the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

: Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen comments that the trade agreement between the US and China fails to address the most pressing disputes and that the associated tariffs have harmed US consumers.

: State Department and other US agencies issue Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory, urging US businesses and individuals to cut ties Xinjiang or risk violating US law.

: Guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold conducts a freedom of navigation in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands.

: Secretary Blinken issues statement on the fifth anniversary of the Arbitral Tribunal Ruling on the South China Sea, reaffirming US policy of July 13, 2020 regarding maritime claims in the South China Sea.

: Commerce Department adds 14 Chinese entities to the Entity List over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance in Xinjiang.

: China’s State Council announces it is stepping up scrutiny of Chinese companies that list on US exchanges. It will update the rules of the overseas listing system for domestic enterprises and tighten restrictions on cross-border data flows and security.

: China’s Special Representative on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming holds a phone call with US Special Representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sung Kim.

: Secretary Blinken meets with seven Uyghur internment camp survivors, advocates, and relatives of detained individuals to express the US commitment to human rights and to working with allies to bring an end to PRC crimes against Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang.

: US Congressional-Executive Commission on China holds a roundtable entitled “One Year of the National Security Law’s Repression of Fundamental Freedoms in Hong Kong.”

: Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection announces a Withhold Release Order against Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd., a Chinese company located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that is believed to use forced labor to manufacture its products.

: Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs publishes a Federal Register Notice updating its “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” to include polysilicon produced in China.

: Commerce Department adds five Chinese entities to the Entity List, which restricts American companies from exporting products and technology to them.

: President Biden releases a statement denouncing Beijing’s repression against Hong Kong that resulted in the closure of Apple Daily, a tabloid-style newspaper. He expresses US support for Hong Kong’s autonomy and for Hong Kong’s right to freedom of the press.

: China’s ambassador to the US for eight years, Cui Tiankai, announces he will leave his position. His farewell statement describes US-China relations as being at a crossroads and calls on Chinese living in the US to take responsibility for furthering the bilateral relationship.

: Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Curtis Wilbur, sails through the Taiwan Strait.

: At the ADMM Plus meeting, Chinese Defense Minister refers to the South China Sea as a “core interest,” saying “On issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea, China is determined to safeguard the country’s core interests.”

: At annual NATO summit, leaders declare that China presents a global security risk, shifting the alliance’s focus to finding ways to respond to an increasingly powerful China.

: Leaders of the G7 release a statement following their June 11-13 meetings. Included in the statement are criticisms of China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, calls for Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy, and emphasis on the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China denounces the statement.

: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speaks by phone with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member Yang Jiechi to discuss the need for the US and China to work together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and other shared global challenges, while also raising concerns about Chinese policies in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and toward Taiwan.

: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo holds phone call with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao to discuss concerns each country has about the policies of the other.

: US-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing on China’s nuclear forces.

: China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, passes the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. The law provides a legal foundation for China to counter US and EU sanctions over trade, technology, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang.

: President Biden revokes executive orders targeting Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps initiated by President Trump and signed a new order directing the Commerce Department to evaluate all software applications with potential ties to foreign adversaries including China and take action to protect data on US citizens gathered by the apps.

: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issues a directive aimed at reorienting the US military to better compete with Beijing. Few details of the initiatives are known, but are said to contribute to whole-of-government efforts to address challenges from China.

: US Senate Committee on Armed Services holds a hearing entitled “The United States’ Strategic Competition with China.”

: US Senate passes the Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, a piece of legislation intended to increase the ability of the US to compete with Chinese technology.

: Biden issues order banning US investment in Chinese firms that aid surveillance and repression both inside and outside China. The order expands upon Executive Order 13959 of Nov. 12, 2020.

: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken releases a statement in honor of the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier Liu He have an introductory meeting via video conference to discuss issues of mutual concern and express willingness to maintain communication on US-China economic relations.

: US Customs and Border Protection issues a Withhold Release Order against Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. due to information indicating the use of forced labor in the company’s fishing operations.

: President Biden says he will publish the results of a 90-day inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, intensifying tensions between the US and China.

: China decides to impose sanctions against an individual, Johnnie Moore, commissioner for the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. The sanctions are a response to the US sanctioning of Yu Hui on May 12, 2021.

: US Trade Representative Katherine Tai meets virtually with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to discuss the importance of the trade relationship between the US and China.

: US-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing on China in Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss China’s strategic approach, engagement, and military and security activities in the region.

: Guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur performs a freedom of navigation operation near the Paracel Islands, asserting “navigational rights and freedoms … consistent with international law,” Lt. Lingo, spokesperson for the US 7th Fleet, says in a statement.

: US Senate passes the Endless Frontier Act 86-11. The legislation would provide $120 billion to expand research into cutting-edge technologies to make the US more competitive with China.

: Congressional-Executive Commission on China holds a hearing entitled “China, Genocide, and the Olympics” to examine the implications of holding the XXIV Winter Olympics in China in light of the country’s human rights record.

: US Defense Department announces it will remove China’s Xiaomi Corp from a government blacklist, reversing one of the Trump administration’s last jabs at Beijing before leaving office.

: State Department transmits its 2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to Congress and announces sanctions against Chinese citizen Yu Hui, former Office Director of the “Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions” for his involvement in human rights violations such as the detention of Falun Gong practitioners.

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